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Notre Dame College has earned its second consecutive berth to the American Moot Court Association (AMCA) National Championship Tournament.

The Notre Dame duo of Athene Goodman, a senior, and Dennis Bunch, a junior, qualified for nationals with a fifth-place finish overall at the National Midwest Undergraduate Moot Court Contest. Goodman and Bunch lost in the final rounds on a 2-1 split ballot to the defending national champions, Eastern Michigan University. The AMCA national championship tournament will take place January 26-28, 2021.

“This is truly a statement about liberal arts education and the great people at Notre Dame College,” said R. Eric Matthews, Jr., assistant professor of political science and coach of the moot court team. “We went toe-to-toe with the best in the country and did great.”

At the regional competition in November, Notre Dame’s entire moot court team finished fourth among all participating institutions, behind the University of Chicago, the College of Wooster, and Eastern Michigan.

Also participating in the Midwest contest were the pairs of seniors Jordan Benson and Austin Mora, both political science majors, who finished 16th; Katie Petro, a junior political science major, and Alex Rapp, a sophomore biology major, who placed 17th; and Antonio Delgado, a junior, and sophomore Asya Fraley, both undecided in their majors, who reached 25th.

The National Midwest Undergraduate Moot Court Contest was 100 percent virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notre Dame served as the host for the event and welcomed 28 teams representing 15 institutions from Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.

More than 350 teams begin in the invitational rounds in mid-October. Only 80 will qualify for nationals, which also will be conducted remotely. Seeds for the championship tournament will be announced in January.

Notre Dame won its first bid to the AMCA national championship last year when Katherine Esser and Jordan Mochko qualified as the 80th seed for the tournament conducted at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Moot court is a method of teaching law and advocacy skills by requiring students to analyze and argue both sides of a hypothetical legal issue using state and federal appellate court procedures. The top four to six pairs, dependent on a national ranking system, from each of the regional qualifying tournaments earn a place in nationals each year.

The AMCA is the largest intercollegiate moot court organization in the United States. In competition, undergraduate students litigate against an opposing student team and before a panel of career judges, attorneys, law professors and legal experts. The pairs are evaluated based on jurisprudence of legal precedent, knowledge of case law and oratorical presentations skills.

This year the AMCA case addresses the First Amendment rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

“During a pandemic, this is proof that the Falcon Flex model is working, and we value and appreciate the hard work of everyone,” Matthews said. “We hope to use these results to continue to recruit students for a wonderful experience at Notre Dame College.”

November 2020

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