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Blackburn, Scott Reach the Last Rounds of ABA Moot Court Competition

WVU Law students Stephen Scott and Karissa Blackburn

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Two WVU Law students recently competed in the semifinals of an American Bar Association national moot court competition — and one advance to the final round.

Third-year students Karissa Blackburn and Stephen Scott both made it to the last stages of the ABA’s First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition in Miami, Florida.  

Blackburn and Scott earned one of the four highest brief scores in the competition’s quarterfinal. That put them on the road to Miami, where they competed against law students from Yale, Duke and Michigan State.

“Karissa and I were eager to compete because we wanted to improve our writing and oral argument skills, as well as further increase WVU Law's visibility and participation in the American Bar Association,” said Scott. “Preparing for and performing in the competition went extremely well because we have great synergy between us and we know each other's strengths. In each phase of the competition, we worked tirelessly to make WVU Law proud.”

In his semifinal, Scott earned one of the competition’s highest combined brief and oral argument scores to advance. In the final, he faced two students from Yale and a student from Duke before a panel of sitting appellate judges.

The ABA’s First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition is designed to introduce minority law students to the practice of media law and provide networking opportunities with active attorneys in the media law bar. This year, the case involved a copyright issue related to a meme that was created using a photo taken from a video on a gossip news website.

Joshua Fershee, professor of law, and Melanie Stimeling, director of the WVU Law Writing Center, helped Scott and Blackburn prepare for the moot court competition.

“We are blessed to have so many people at WVU Law not only rooting for our success but also willing to put in the hard work alongside us to make sure we reach that success,” said Blackburn. “Moments like this in my legal career confirm that I made the right choice in attending WVU Law because the support we get from our faculty and staff is priceless. I am beyond proud of our team for doing so well and representing WVU Law to this caliber on a national stage.”



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