Smith, McDowell & Powell law clerk Kimberly Van Spronsen, as a member of the McGeorge Moot Court Honors Board, recently became a regional winner for the American Bar Association (ABA) National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and competed in the national tournament hosted by the ABA in Chicago.
The qualifying competition was held last month at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. However, preparation for the competition began in December when the teams received the issue, which involves a police officer charged with a hate crime for shooting and injuring an African American man during a traffic stop, allegedly “because of” his race. The teams spent weeks researching and writing a persuasive brief that was submitted to a panel of judges. Van Spronsen, and her co-counsels Karly McCrory and Jenifer Gee, advanced to become one of four qualifying regional winning teams for the national rounds of the competition. This included winning five rounds of oral arguments against teams from San Diego, UC Davis, Arizona, UC Hastings, and UC Berkeley. It was an especially exciting weekend for McGeorge, as the other team of McGeorge advocates also advanced to become one of the four regional winners.
The two McGeorge teams went on to compete in the ABA National Moot Court Tournament in Chicago. The national competition hosted 24 teams that had each advanced from one of the six regional competitions. Kimberly Van Spronsen advanced from the two preliminary rounds, but then concluded the competition after a loss in the octo-final rounds. Overall, her team was recognized as a regional winner, one of the top 16 teams in the national competition, and additionally, received an award for the 5th best brief at the national competition.
Congratulations to Van Spronsen and the entire McGeorge team on a job well done!