Minnesota Law Wins Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition for First Time in History
Two teams of Minnesota Law students performed exceptionally well at the 2021-22 Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition in March. Both teams advanced to the quarterfinal rounds and one team won the national competition for the first time in Law School history. The competition is organized by the Federal Bar Association. It is a national competition of 40 teams from law schools from around the country.
The team advancing to the
quarterfinals was composed of
Kylee Evans, 2L and Joe Hamaker, 3L. Evans had a strong showing in the Clary Cup oral argument tournament as a 1L. Hamaker competed on the team for the second consecutive year, advanced to the quarterfinals for the second year,
and also served as both a managing and student director for Civil Rights Civil Liberties Moot Court.
The team that prevailed in the final round was composed of Hannah McDonald, 2L, and Hannah Fereshtehkhou, 3L. McDonald won best oralist for the final round and was the runner-up in last year’s Clary Cup. Fereshtehkhou won the best oralist in last year’s Civil Rights Civil Liberties oral argument tournament and served as a student director this year.
The students were coached by two Minnesota alums. Sara Gurwitch, ’95, competed on the team as a student. Connor Shaull, ’20, was a member of the National Moot Court Competition Team.
Minnesota Law Teams Do Well in William E. McGee Civil Rights Moot Court Competition
Two teams of Law School students performed exceptionally well at the 2022-23 William E. McGee Civil Rights Moot Court Competition for the second consecutive year. One team advanced to the quarterfinals, one team won best brief, and an individual student won best oralist in the through the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year. The team advancing to the quarterfinals was composed of Tim Miles, 3L, Lauren O’Donnell, 3L and Edmund Pine, 3L. Miles won best oral advocate through quarterfinals round for the second consecutive year. O’Donnell is a student director in Civil Rights Civil Liberties Moot Court and was nominated to the 2020-21 Best Brief competition. Pine is also a veteran of Civil Rights Civil Liberties Moot Court.
The team that won best brief was composed of Mia Branca, 3L, Paige Haller, 3L, and Erik Thorsheim, 2L.
Minnesota Law Students Help Immigration Client Prevail in 6th Circuit Case
Minnesota Law students working through the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic (FILC) helped win a decisive second victory allowing a man to reunite with family in the United States and potentially sparing others from unlawful repeated removal actions in a key procedural ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
The Sixth Circuit’s opinion in Jasso Arangure v. Garland serves as a significant check on federal prosecutorial power in administrative immigration proceedings, according to assistant visiting clinical professor Nadia Anguiano-Wehde ’17.
The decision significantly affects
the ability of the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security (DHS) “to unlawfully institute removal proceeding after removal proceeding against noncitizens,” Anguiano-Wehde said.
The decision should allow Jasso to rejoin his family in this country and help others avoid repeated removal efforts.
“Beyond the impact to our client, which is paramount, this case is ultimately so meaningful to me because it involves so many generations of clinic students,” Anguiano-Wehde said. “It brings to the fore how much of a family FILC creates and the impact that it has in training new generations of lawyers to do this very impactful work.”
Students who worked on the case included Jesse Calo, 3L, Ashley Meeder, 3L, Paul Dimick ’19, and Seiko Shastri ’21.
2L Samia Osman Undertakes Humanitarian Relief Effort in Somalia
WhenSamia Osman, 2L
, became aware of the impact of a severe drought on her native land of Somalia, she felt motivated to take action. With two friends, she formed a relief effort, raising more than $6,000 and partnering with international nonprofit Humanitarian African Relief Organization.
Over her winter break, Osman returned to Somalia, a country she left as a refugee when she was 8-years-old, to coordinate the humanitarian effort. She also met with several high-level government officials, grilling them on human rights concerns.
Although Osman found the trip physically and emotionally exhausting, she said that the reaction of the people she was able to help made it all worthwhile. “[W]hen we were done giving out the food and water, all I heard were prayers and blessings from all those around us. The laughter of the children I was playing with and the smiles of the elders erased every hardship it took to get to that moment.”
Students Working in Immigration and Human Rights Clinic Help Guinean Woman Win Asylum
The Law School’s Immigration and Human Rights Clinic recently helped a Guinean woman who faced persecution in her native country because of her religious beliefs, women’s rights advocacy, and public health work win asylum in the United States.
U.S. law requires that asylum- seekers apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the United States. However, there is an exception to this rule for “extraordinary circumstances” that delayed the timeliness of the application. The clinic argued that its client was entitled to asylum, notwithstanding the fact that she did not meet this one-year filing deadline, because of the persecution that she had experienced in Guinea and because the abuse she suffered once inside the United State met the standard for extraordinary circumstances.
The case moved remarkably fast, and the clinic team had limited time to prepare. Within 30 days, they were able to draft and submit a 500-page filing supporting her application. The application was ultimately successful, and their client was granted asylum just eight months after it was filed.
Today, the woman is a caseworker with the International Institute of Minnesota. She is helping Afghani refugees resettle in the U.S. and is eager to use her experiences as an asylum seeker to assist migrants. She is also studying both English and Spanish.
Students Jennifer Melton, 2L, Yemaya Hanna, 3L, and Hanna Stenersen, 2L worked closely with Professor Steve Meilion the case.