Notre Dame College Hosts, Competes in National Moot Court Qualifying Tournament

Notre Dame College is hosting its first national qualifying American Moot Court Association (AMCA) tournament in 2018.

The College was among 24 elite university prelaw teams in the country, including Yale and George Washington University, competing in the contest on Friday, November 30, and Saturday, December 1, to vie for a bid to the oral legal argument national championship. AMCA is the largest intercollegiate moot court association in the country. 

Notre Dame seeded five groups in the qualifying contest taking place at the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall School of Law, with four advancing to the Sweet 16 round. The College team of juniors Athena Eli, a criminal justice major, and Jordan Mochko, a business administration major, reached the Elite Eight before losing in a close contest to Yale University. They finished in sixth place overall ahead of Carnegie Mellon, William and Mary, McGill University from Canada and others in the tournament. The top four pairs of student litigators at the competition automatically earn a chance to compete for the national title.

Two Notre Dame trustees served as distinguished judges at the tournament. Geoffrey J. Ritts, J.D., partner at Jones Day, and Brooke Spectorsky, retired president, general manager and senior vice president for WKYC/Gannett Television. Ritts is vice chair of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees.

In moot court competitions, undergraduates must be prepared to argue both sides of a fictional ACMA court case using state and federal appellate court procedures. Students are evaluated on their legal knowledge and presentation skills.

The 2018-2019 AMCA case looks at whether a fictional public college law school’s admissions policy, which gives preferential weight to male applicants, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The hypothetical legal action also addresses whether an imaginary faculty member’s right to freedom of expression under the First Amendment, as applied to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, was violated when she was fired after speaking out publicly about the admission protocols, examining the relationship between freedom of expression as a private citizen and the rights of free speech as a public employee.

Established in 2011, Notre Dame’s co-curricular prelaw moot court program has qualified for national competitions in four of its first six years of existence.

Notre Dame and its moot court students also partner with local law schools to host annual moot court oral argument scrimmage practice sessions each year that draw teams from universities across the country.

Updated December 2018
Originally posted November 2018

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or

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