Elon Law team earns second place for legal brief at moot court contest

McCathern Painter L’20 and Megan Wilson-Bost L’20 also reached the quarterfinals of the 20th Annual Leroy R. Hassell, Sr. National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition hosted virtually by Regent University School of Law.

Two Elon Law students excelled this month in a national moot court competition when they reached the quarterfinals of a program hosted by Regent University School of Law and earned second place among all legal briefs submitted for the contest.

McCathern Painter L’20 and Megan Wilson-Bost L’20 competed virtually in the 20th Annual Leroy R. Hassell, Sr. National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition, which welcomed 34 teams from law schools across the nation.

Teams were confronted with a problem drawn from today’s headlines: Could a faith-based child placement agency that has contracted with the state, yet holds religious convictions that prevent it from recommending placement with a same-sex married couple, be exempt from state anti-discrimination laws in its recruitment and placement decisions?

The problem required students to analyze the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“My experience competing in moot court has been the most rewarding thus far in law school,” Painter said. “I came to the competition very apprehensive about my ability to write a brief, but working tirelessly with Meg and having our hard work rewarded gave me some much needed confidence. I can think of no better partner to work with than Meg and know that under our coaches’ tutelage, we’re both prepared to take on the world of appellate advocacy.”

Wilson-Bost said that oral advocacy led her to law school and drives her passion to fight on behalf of individuals who need a voice.

“Working with our coaches and my outstanding partner has been an experience of a lifetime,” Wilson-Bost said. “Through this competition, not only do I feel confident navigating Zoom, I feel empowered to advocate for future clients regardless of venue or format. I could not be more thankful for this opportunity given the chaotic nature of the present time we are living in.”

Julianna Kober L’20 and Michael Logsdon L’20 posted strong performances in two preliminary rounds of the Regent competition, which concluded on October 10. This year’s program continued a tradition of strong performances by Elon Law students, including several top-eight performances and best brief recognitions.

The teams were coached by Senior Associate Dean Alan Woodlief, director of Elon Law’s Moot Court Program, and Melissa Watkins L’17, an adjunct professor and Elon Law moot court alumna.

“Our students put in dozens of hours researching the legal issues and drafting their briefs, and it is wonderful to see this hard work rewarded and their strong writing skills recognized,” Woodlief said. “They spent several weeks refining their oral arguments in practice sessions and did a great job delivering their argument and responding to the judges’ concerns about such a sensitive and potentially emotionally-charged topic.”

Elon Law will host the Eleventh Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court Competition from October 22-24, where 48 teams from across the country will compete. Attorneys and judges are invited to volunteer to judge oral argument rounds.

Learn more about the accomplishments of Elon Law’s student Moot Court Board here.