MACON – Mercer Law School students Dontez Mars and Amari Wilson placed first in the National Black Law Student Association’s (NBLSA) Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Regional Competition on Jan. 30. This is the second year in a row Mercer Law teams have won the regional competition.
Two teams represented Mercer Law School, and both advanced to the regional finals. Mars, a third-year student and Wilson, a second-year student, placed first and received the award for Best Petitioner’s Brief in the entire competition. Second-year students J. Chad Capers and Sedaries Mathis were runners-up, reinforcing Mercer Law’s strong showing at this historic competition.
Both teams advance to the national competition next month.
The competition replicates appellate oral argument proceedings, with the top-three teams from six regional competitions advancing to compete in the national competition. Unlike previous years, the entire competition was hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Participating in a completely virtual event was challenging, but my teammates and I worked hard to make sure our performance was as seamless as possible even with all the challenges that come with technology,” said Wilson. “Our coaches did an amazing job preparing us for this competition, and it paid off tremendously. I’m so proud of us!”
The two teams were coached by third-year student Patrick Hitt, Mercer Law Visiting Assistant Professor Katie Powers and Mercer Law alumna Judge Brenda Youmas.
“The competition was fierce from other law schools throughout the Southern Region, but our fabulous students were up to the task,” said Powers. “I am incredibly proud that all of their hard work and dedication to preparation paid off. I cannot wait to watch them at nationals.”
“All four of our students, their student coach Patrick Hitt, coaches Katie Powers and Judge Brenda Youmas worked exceedingly hard for months throughout the fall semester exam period and during their winter break to prepare for this whirlwind success,” said Mercer Law School Dean Cathy Cox. “Mercer Law is proud of our students, and we wish them the best for the next competition ahead at nationals.”