Minnesota Law

Spring 2021
All Rise

Student News

Frances Daniels, 3L

Frances Daniels, 2L, Gets $5,000 Scholarship from AccessLex

Frances Daniels, 2L, was awarded a $5,000 scholarship by AccessLex, a nonprofit organization that seeks to further access, affordability, and the value of legal education through research, policy, advocacy, and direct member and student educational services. Daniels, a frequent user of AccessLex’s resources, received news of the scholarship in a surprise video call from AccessLex officials.

“With everything else happening in the world, a scholarship award drawing was definitely not something on my mind and brought a huge boost of joy to this semester!” she says.

Student Team Wins Regional Patent Application Drafting Competition, Advances to Nationals

A team of four Minnesota Law students emerged as Midwest region champions in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) National Patent Application Drafting Competition.

Team members: (top row, center) M.S.P.L. student Timothy Brennhofer; (top row, right) Carlton Hemphill, 2L, and Jack Graves, 2L; and (middle row, left) M.S.P.L. student Jordan Marsh

The team defeated Notre Dame Law School in the final round to take the regional championship. As a result of the win, the Minnesota Law team advances to the national finals, which will be held at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, on April 9.

The Minnesota Law team consisted of two students in the Master of Science in Patent Law program (Jordan Marsh and Timothy Brennhofer) and two second-year J.D. students (Carlton Hemphill and Jack Graves). The team worked together to draft a patent application and defend it before a panel of distinguished judges.

Professor Christopher M. Turoski ’98 coached the Minnesota Law team, with assistance from Jason Harp ’98 and Bernard Cryan, 3L.

Students Make Strong Showing at McGee Moot Court Competition

3Ls Seth Corley (top row, middle) and Nadia Mezic (middle row, left) were on the team that finished second in the finals.

Minnesota Law students and teams fared well at the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition, which, for the first time in its history, was held entirely online.

The 2021 competition was held March 5-6. Student competitors and volunteer judges met in a Zoom courtroom for the arguments. A volunteer “bailiff” was in the Zoom room ready to help with any tech-related questions. In another first, the championship round was livestreamed on YouTube.

Best Respondent Brief went to the team of Seth Corley, 3L, Nadia Mezic, 3L, and Navin Ramalingam, 3L. Best overall brief went to the team of Annali Cler, 3L, Tim Miles, 2L, and Will Wright, 3L.

Miles was named Best Oral Advocate in the preliminary rounds. The team with Cler, Miles, and Wright advanced to the semifinals. The team with Corley, Mezic, and Ramalingam advanced to the finals, ultimately taking second place. The teams were coached by Professor Jon Lee.

Mock Trial Team Wins Regional Competition, Advances to Nationals

A Minnesota Law mock trial team recently won the American College of Trial Lawyers/Texas Young Lawyers Association Region 12 mock trial competition. The team will advance to the national competition and will compete against the best trial advocacy programs in the country. 

Olivia Gardiner, 3L, Josh Dostal, 3L, and Tommy Harshaw, 2L

The ACTL/TYLA National Trial Competition is the largest law school mock trial competition in the nation, attracting teams from more than 140 law schools and involving more than 1,000 law students each year. It was established in 1975 to encourage and strengthen students’ advocacy skills through quality competition and valuable interaction with members of the bench and bar.  

The winning team members were Josh Dostal, 3L, Tommy Harshaw, 2L, and Olivia Gardiner, 3L. The second team from the Law School also had a very strong showing, achieving 5th place out of 18 teams. Its members were Bree Crye, 3L, Mitch Dooley, 3L, and Alena Simon, 3L. The teams are coached by Craig Buske ’10, Craig Roen ’87, Jared Reams ’13, and Deanna Thompson ’19

This was the fourth time in the past nine years that a Minnesota Law mock trial team has won its regional competition and qualified for nationals.

3L Kristin Trapp Launches He2We Campaign to Remove Gendered Language from State Constitutions 

Kristin Trapp, 3L, in March launched the He2We campaign, an initiative she started to advocate for removing gendered language from state constitutions.

Kristin Trapp, 3L

Last year, Trapp testified before the Minnesota Legislature in favor of a bill—which she originally drafted—to do this in Minnesota. With the help of Minnesota Law’s Business Law Clinic, she incorporated an LLC to promote the removal of gendered language in state constitutions across the country. Last fall, her nonprofit was selected as a client for the Carlson School of Management’s Social Venturing in Action course. Carlson School students helped Trapp prepare He2We for launch, including designing a website, strategizing social media, creating a promotional video, and developing a business plan.

“We hope to spark change in all 50 states’ constitutions,” Trapp says.