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Duquesne Law Students Win Regionals, Advance to NAAC Finals

Second-year law students Sarah Molinero and Aleksandra Kocelko will advance to the finals of the American Bar Association's National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) after being named champions at the regional competition in Washington, D.C., March 7-9.

This marks the first time that a team from the School of Law has earned a spot in the prestigious NAAC Championship, which will be held from April 4-6 in Chicago and will feature 27 teams.

Molinero and Kocelko argued both on and off brief a total of five times over three days before being declared regional champions. In addition, the School of Law team of Andrew Griffin and Bethany Willard finished as semi-finalists in the regional competition. 

The NAAC, which is the largest moot court competition in the country, focuses on the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience. Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, including writing a brief as either a respondent or petitioner and arguing the case before a mock court.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.