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FHHS Law Moot Court



The Forest Hills High School Law Academy participated in the 39th Annual Metropolitan Mentor Moot Court Competition on Nov. 14 and 20 at Fordham University School of Law. The event was provided by Fordham’s Moot Court Board and The Justice Resource Center.

Moot Court is where four students from each participating school around the city go to argue a specific case. Two students go as petitioners while the other two go as respondents. Each gets ten minutes to argue their case and judges ask questions up for debate. The top schools advance to the next round. The scoring is based on what school has scored the highest, not on which school won their case.

Hills was represented by Ms. Carlson, our coordinator for the law program along with students in her contemporary legal issues class.  Preparation for the competition took about a month. Students went to a law firm, Hughes Hubbard and Reed LLP on Wednesdays to work with lawyers and also went to school on Saturday mornings to work with Ms. Carlson in preparation for the competition.

Athena Vishudanand, Julia Karaboli, Hannah Lemes, and Victoria Evans –members of the Moot Court and Mock Trial Competition Team– were the four students chosen to compete in Moot Court. Students were chosen based on knowledge of the case, level of skillful arguments, and how efficiently they answered questions.

In the first round, the preliminary round,  Hannah and Victoria went against another school as petitioners. Petitioners argue on why their client’s rights were violated, which is what Hannah and Victoria argued. They did a phenomenal job presenting their argument and answering the questions presented by the three judges present in the room.

In the second round, Athena and Julia went as the respondents. Respondents are defendants who argue that they didn’t violate anyone’s rights. Athena and Julia had to argue why their client did not violate the petitioner’s rights. Along with our two petitioners, our two respondents Athena and Julia did an excellent job answering the questions and refuting the opposing team’s claims.

Carrying the entire class’s hard work and dedication in helping them advance this far, the four of them advanced to the quarterfinals! Additionally, they were the top two in the preliminary round. Although the team tried their hardest and advanced to the quarterfinals, they were unfortunately unable to advance to the semifinals.

Those that competed were disappointed with the outcome.

“Moot Court in itself is not necessarily a fair process because everyone is judged by different people and some judges are harsher than others. You can get a hot bench where the judges will ask you a lot of questions like we did or you will get a cold bench where you won’t get asked [many] questions. They grade you based on that and not everyone is treated the same way. Overall, we did well anyway but Moot Court has its problems in its entirety,” a junior, Athena Vishudanand expressed.

“I was unsatisfied with the outcome. I feel like we could’ve done better. Overall, it was a good experience…with the knowledge we got from this competition, we apply it to next year,” said junior Hannah Lemes.

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Nena Shah
Nena Shah, Copy Editor
Nena is a junior at Forest Hills High School. She is in the law academy and has passion in various areas in law. She enjoys reading and listening to music as well as traveling to new places. She is always willing to experience new things. By being part of The Beacon, she expresses her writing and editing skills as well as her creative side.
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