A team of two college students placed second in a national tournament for aspiring lawyers that took place Jan. 13–14 at the American Collegiate Moot Court Association 2012 National Tournament.
The team, senior political science major Olaniyi Solebo and freshman history major Andrew Wallach, gave the best showing of any moot court team in College history—outperforming 80 teams (160 students total) from 35 colleges and universities at the competition, which took place at Chapman University Law School in Orange, CA.
Solebo, who also serves as the president of the College’s Student Government, also won 10th place in the top orator competition.
“TCNJ’s showing this year establishes the College as a strong moot court program, and my goal for the future is to continue to do well in both regional and national competition,” said Daryl Fair, professor of political science and coach of the moot court team. “Our showing this year is one more indication of the quality of the College’s students and academic program.”
According to Fair, in November of last semester, the school took five teams to the ACMA’s Easter Regional Tournament at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts and three of those teams — including Solebo, Wallach, and two other teams comprised of Abigail Wallach, Rebecca Stefaniak, Angela Kerins, and Rebecca Kelley — qualified for the national tournament.
These three teams represented one fourth of the teams that qualified for nationals, out of 48 teams that competed at the tournament. Nationally, 279 teams competed at regional tournaments across the state.
Solebo and Wallach narrowly missed first place, losing their last argument in the competition case on a “2-1 split decision,” said Fair, who teaches a course, POL370/Topics in Political Science: Moot Court, which simulates the moot court tournament experience before the regionals in November.