The St. Mary’s University School of Law National Moot Court Team has been named national champion in the 2022 Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition

The tournament-style event, hosted by the Chicago Bar Association from Nov. 17 through Nov. 19, saw about 30 teams from across the country compete in a trial advocacy competition simulating appellate court settings. St. Mary’s previously won the competition in 2019. 

Third-year law students Kathryn Cantu and Haley Harvey are shown with their winning plaque after being named national champions.
Third-year J.D. students Kathryn Cantu and Haley Harvey show off their award after being named national champions.

This is the second national championship for the Advocacy Program in 2022, following the National Trial Team’s win during the National Trial League Competition in January. Overall, the St. Mary’s Moot Court Team has won several national championships throughout its history. 

Third-year J.D. students Kathryn Cantu and Haley Harvey, co-captains of the National Moot Court Team, said the latest victory was owed to everyone on the team who dedicated their time and effort to the Advocacy Program. 

“It would not have been possible without the support of coaches and teammates,” Harvey said. “To see all of our hard work pay off and to be able to do it with my co-captain and best friend is something I will never forget.” 

Cantu added that the two women have personally grown as individuals and as teammates. 

“Haley and I are completely different advocates than when we started this program. Now, we have a national title to show for that,” Cantu said. “But this title is more than for just us. It’s also for our coaches, who are the reason this team has built such a profound legacy.”  

Ricky Poole (J.D. ’90), one of the coaches for the National Moot Court Team, praised the work Cantu and Harvey have done, saying they had the “perfect combination of extraordinary talent” to bring home the win. 

Along with assistant coaches Natsumi Covey (J.D. ’20), William “Billy” Calve (J.D. ’17) and Stephanie De Sola Acosta (J.D. ’16) — all of whom won a national championship with previous moot court taems — Poole said St. Mary’s continues to produce competitors reaching the highest levels.  

“This win is just another reminder that St. Mary’s University School of Law produces some of the best advocates in the country,” Poole said. “Our students have the ability to win anywhere and anytime and often do just that.” 

A.J. Bellido de Luna, J.D., St. Mary’s Law Assistant Dean for Advocacy Programs and Hardy Service Professor of Law, said students and coaches sacrifice their time and put in hours of work outside the classroom.  

“This was a difficult field. For St. Mary’s to win this tournament again is a testament to the work ethic of our students and those who coach them,” Bellido de Luna said. “We strive to have practice-ready attorneys. This win, along with our other wins, proves we are meeting our goals.” 

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