3L Joanna Lenefonte Wins Best Oralist Award

11.20.2012 | Law, Students

3L Joanna Lenefonte was named the best oralist at a preliminary round of the National Moot Court Competition at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School on Nov. 10-11.  

Lenefonte was recognized for outstanding achievement in her brief writing skills. More than 30 other students from law schools in Ohio and Michigan competed in the regional event, which was sponsored by the New York City Bar and the American College of Trial Lawyers.  

Lenefonte and her teammate Catherine Tatum went undefeated on the competition’s first day and finished fifth overall.  

Lenefonte, who is executive president of the Student Bar Association, said Moot Court allows her to practice her favorite part an attorney's job: advocating for someone in front of judges and other attorneys. 

“Moot Court allows me to be in front of judges and do what I like most, persuade them my argument is the correct one,” she said, adding: “Even if it’s not, the fun is trying to persuade them!”  

Participating on the Moot Court team, she said, has given her more confidence when appearing in court.  

“This semester I argued an appeal before Ohio's Second District Court of Appeals and I felt very comfortable and confident during my argument,” she said. “I have also used my intern's license and feel comfortable speaking on the record to the judge or in chambers trying to persuade them to help my client.”  

After law school, Lenefonte wants to work as a public defender.  

The University of Dayton Moot Court program is completely student run. The team primarily includes second-year students who have completed Appellate Advocacy and who have competed in the annual Walter H. Rice Memorial Competition. The Moot Court board is comprised of former team members who are currently in their third year of law school.  

Team members have received the best oralist award at the Thurgood Marshall Federal Bar Association's National Moot Court Competition in 2011 and 2012, and the best brief award at the Ethics and Professionalism Competition at Mercer College of Law in 2011.

For more information, contact Bob Mihalek, communication specialist at the University of Dayton School of Law, at 937-229-4683 or bob.mihalek@udayton.edu.