Duquesne Law Students Win Regionals, Advance to NAAC Finals

NAAC regional champions Sarah Molinero and Aleksandra Kocelko

Second-year law students Sarah Molinero and Aleksandra Kocelko will advance to the finals of the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) after being named champions at the regional competition in Washington, D.C., March 7-9.

This marks the first time that a team from the School of Law has earned a spot in the prestigious NAAC Championship, set for April 4-6 in Chicago and will feature 27 teams.

Molinero and Kocelko argued both on and off brief a total of five times over three days before being declared regional champions. In addition, the School of Law team of Andrew Griffin and Bethany Willard finished as semi-finalists in the regional competition.

The NAAC, which is the largest moot court competition in the country, focuses on the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience. Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, including writing a brief as either a respondent or petitioner and arguing the case before a mock court.