Wayne Law Moot Court Program Completes Second Peter Henning Competition

Wayne State University Law School’s Moot Court program concluded its 2023 Peter J. Henning Moot Court Competition on Oct. 29. Of the 32 junior members who participated in this two-day competition, 2L Jessica Krawczyk prevailed as the Fall 2023 In-House champion.

During the competition’s Preliminary Rounds, held on Oct. 28, judges evaluated oral advocates based on the substantive content of their arguments, knowledge of the record, extemporaneous abilities, and courtroom demeanor. The top eight oralists from the preliminaries advanced to the competition’s upper rounds, which took place the next day.  

Top Row (from left to right) Jessica Krawczyk, Nana Berko, Shane Werner, and Francis (Frank) Doud
Bottom Row (from left to right) Melodie Floro, Matthew Olgren, Hannah Hollin, and Natalia Grasso

“We are extremely proud of all our Junior Members,” Moot Court Chancellor Alexis Zerbst said. "Each oralist spent an abundance of time and effort over the semester to prepare for this competition, which is evidenced by the amazing feedback we received from volunteer judges, the well-thought-out arguments heard throughout the competition, the tight competition, and the preliminary rounds resulting in a tie.”

Zerbst further noted a “profound appreciation for the thirty-plus practicing lawyers, law professors, and judges who graciously volunteered to participate in the competition.”

Among those volunteers were judges of the competition’s Final Round: Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly, Detroit Mercy Law Professor and Associate Dean Karen McDonald Henning, and Associate Attorney at Taft Law Molly Moss. 

Each year, Junior Members of Moot Court extensively research legal issues in unsettled areas of the law. In addition to oral advocacy preparation, Junior Members are enrolled in Appellate Advocacy—an upper-level writing course. The co-curricular course provides a unique experience for students to prepare for their future careers by enhancing their skills in oral and written advocacy. 

The competition's top eight oralists who advanced beyond the Preliminary Rounds are Jessica Krawczyk, Nana Berko, Shane Werner, Francis (Frank) Doud, Melodie Floro, Matthew Olgren, Hannah Hollin, and Natalia Grasso.

Competitors Grasso and Anony Walton had an unprecedented eighth-seed tie at the preliminary rounds. Grasso won the tiebreaker round held early Sunday morning to determine the next advancing finalist. 

Alumni interested in serving as volunteer judges can contact Moot Court Chancellor Alexis Zerbst via email at gn8272@wayne.edu for more information. 

Photos from the competition can be viewed here.

For more information about Wayne State University Law School, visit www.law.wayne.edu.

Since 1949, Wayne Law has had a nationally acclaimed Moot Court program that features a rigorous In-House Competition in both the fall and winter semesters. As one of the only co-curricular teams to feature intensive training in legal research, writing, and oral advocacy, Wayne Law Moot Court is a challenging and rewarding experience for students accepted into the program. For more information about Wayne Law's Moot Court program, visit law.wayne.edu/students/organizations.

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Contact: Jennifer Kennedy

Phone: 313.577.4629

Email: jennifer.kennedy2@wayne.edu

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