Charlotte School of Law Wins International Moot Court Competition

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Student Team Takes Top Honors Two Consecutive Years

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From left: Moen, Poulsen, Mrkus and Buske following the Charlotte School of Law moot court team’s win in South Africa.

A student team from Charlotte School of Law took home top honors when they won “Best Overall Team” and the “Best English Team” at the University of the Free State Moot Court Competition Oct. 8 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. This is the second consecutive year a CharlotteLaw team has won the top honors at the international competition.

Abbey Mrkus and Jeff Poulsen, second-year students at CharlotteLaw, traveled to South Africa to participate in the two-day competition. The competition was based on family law and required arguments addressing the validity of a wide range of issues, including organ donation from minors, child custody, best interest analysis, international law, and preliminary injunctions.

The CharlotteLaw team was named the top English team, beating 13 other English-speaking teams. After being named the Best English team, Mrkus and Poulsen were then named the Best Overall Team, topping the Best Afrikaan team. The judicial panel consisted of five judges, ranging from high-ranking advocates to a retired President of the Supreme Court Justice (equivalent to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice).

Team tryouts were held at CharlotteLaw in the spring, and, after being chosen, Mrkus and Poulsen spent the summer researching and learning South African and international law before submitting briefs at the beginning of the Fall.

During the first round of the October competition, the CharlotteLaw team argued for the defendant and the plaintiff in two preliminary rounds. They were then chosen as one of four teams to advance to the finals, where they competed against various South African schools, eventually facing the University of Pretoria in the final round. Saturday night, at a formal dinner, all winners were announced and Mrkus and Poulsen represented CharlotteLaw by winning for the second year in a row.

Professor Rebecca Wofford, and students Bo Caudill and Lynna Moen, CharlotteLaw’s 2010 winners, coached the team in preparation for the competition. Student Coach Lynna Moen and Professor Sheryl Buske, who is currently a Fulbright Scholar assigned to a law school in Kumasi, Ghana, traveled with the team to the competition in South Africa.

“It was incredibly rewarding to see the students’ months of hard work with Professor Wofford pay off,” Buske said. “Their preparation and professionalism made then wonderful ambassadors for both CharlotteLaw and the American bar.”
In addition to participating in the competition, students are required to raise money for a community service project in South Africa. Mrkus and Poulsen hosted a group of boys from Kidz Care Trust, a South African nonprofit organization that operates a shelter for homeless boys, for an afternoon of water games, a gift of 20 new soccer balls, water bottles and lunch. Time spent with the boys from Kidz Care Trust has become a tradition and serves as highlight for the students’ entire trip.

About Charlotte School of Law
Charlotte School of Law, fully accredited by the American Bar Association, offers a student-centered orientation that focuses on the hands-on learning needed to equip graduates with leadership, management and interpersonal skills needed for career success. As the only law school in North Carolina’s most populous city, Charlotte School of Law offers full-time and part-time day programs as well as an evening part-time program for working professionals. On the Web at http://www.charlottelaw.edu.

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Sharon Reichard
Charlotte School of Law
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