MACON – Mercer Law School second-year students Breanna Vega and Bomkapr Kanu placed first in the National Black Law Student Association’s (NBLSA) Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Regional Competition in Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 1.
Two teams represented Mercer Law School. Vega and Kanu placed first, and Kanu won Best Oral Argument at the competition. Second-year students Dontez Mars and Naadia Ali-Yallah advanced to the semifinal round, reinforcing Mercer Law’s strong showing at this historic competition.
Vega and Kanu will advance to the national competition next month in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The competition replicates appellate oral argument proceedings, with the top three teams from six regional competitions advancing to compete in the national competition.
“This experience has taught me the importance of teamwork and just how much one can learn from their peers,” said Kanu. “Each week I watched my teammates grow stronger and more competitive, forcing me to push myself to excel and grow to meet their work ethic.”
The two teams were coached by third-year student L’Zandra Jones, Mercer Law Professor Sue Painter-Thorne, and Mercer Law alumna and Macon attorney Brenda Youmas.
“Our coaches pushed us to our highest potential for a little over three months,” said Ali-Yallah. “We gained more confidence, practical skills, and achieved the goals we set forth for ourselves.”
“All four of our students, their student coach L’Zandra Jones, coaches Professor Painter-Thorne and Brenda Youmas worked exceedingly hard for months throughout the fall semester exam period and during their winter break to prepare for the competition,” said Mercer Law School Dean Cathy Cox. “Mercer Law is proud of our students and congratulates them on their success. We wish them the best for the next challenge ahead at nationals.”