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OCU LAW Students Win National Competition

Thursday, February 28, 2008

  • Organization: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

Native American Moot Court Team Garners First Place Honors

OCU LAW student teams competing in the recent National Native American Law Student Association (NNALSA) moot court competition ranked among the top in the nation. One OCU LAW team brought home the championship trophy given to the first place team.

"Our teams put in a phenomenal effort and they should be commended for working so diligently to hone their appellate advocacy skills," said Casey Ross-Petherick, assistant director of the Native American Legal Resource Center at OCU LAW, who coached the teams.

"It is always wonderful to see our students excel on the national stage," said OCU LAW dean Lawrence K. Hellman. "What's so special about this achievement is that it reflects our law school's commitment and strength in the field of Native American law."

At the 16th annual competition Feb. 21-23 co-hosted in Phoenix by Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, three OCU LAW teams competed. Students Kim Garelick from Roslyn Heights, N.Y., and Steven Foster from Oklahoma City won first place in the overall Best Advocate category, edging out teams from Columbia University School of Law and the University of Hawaii in the final rounds. Foster also placed 3rd in the Best Oralist category. And Garelick and Foster placed 2nd in the Best Brief category.

OCU LAW students Shandi Stoner from Piedmont, Okla., and Anitra Abdullah-Levy from Austin, Texas progressed to the quarterfinals, placing the pair among the top eight teams in the nation.

The final round was argued in front of a prestigious panel - including Chief Justice Herb Yazzie of the Navajo Nation Supreme Court, Judge Betty Fletcher of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and William Canby, author of "American Indian Law in a Nutshell." More than 65 registered teams competed in the event from schools including Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Kansas, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Tulsa. For more information about the competition visit the NNALSA Web site at www.nationalnalsa.org.

Students Kim Garelick and Anitra Abdullah-Levy have both been dedicated volunteers in the Oklahoma City Law office of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma.

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