Two Harvard Law School teams comprised of first-year students competed in the 10th annual New York University Law Immigration Law Moot Court Competition on Feb. 20-22. The Harvard teams faced second and third-year law students from Georgetown, Columbia, Cornell, and 11 other law schools in the weekend-long competition.

1Ls Mario Nguyen, Pamela Yaacoub, and Stephanie Jimenez took first place in the competition while maintaining one of the highest team scores throughout the tournament. Nguyen also won Best Oralist overall.

The team was sponsored and coached by John Quinn ’10, Christopher Dunne, and Kerry Tirrell from Sullivan & Cromwell.

Competing against the Georgetown University Law Center, the team argued in the final round before Judge Raymond Lohier (2nd Cir.), Chief Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold (E.D.N.Y.), and Nancy Morawetz, co-director of the New York University Immigration Law Clinic.

A second Harvard Law School team, comprised of Emma Rekart, Marissa Yu, and Victoria Hartmann, also first-year students, successfully made it to the semi-final round and maintained a high seat throughout much of the tournament. The team argued a total of five rounds, winning all three preliminary rounds against Cornell, Rutgers-Newark, and the Georgetown finalist team. The team then defeated Western State in the quarter-final round before being eliminated in a semi-final round in which the two Harvard teams went head-to-head. The team was sponsored and coached by Mark Fleming ’97, Denise Tsai, and Arjun Jaikumar of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr.

The NYU Immigration Law Moot Court Competition is a national annual competition in which teams compete in appellate-level advocacy representing either the U.S. Government or a foreign national before the Federal Court of Appeals for the “Fourteenth Circuit.” Competitors submit a brief for an assigned side but are expected to argue both sides throughout the course of the competition.

This year’s topic addressed controversial issues related to anti-immigrant housing ordinances and the subject matter jurisdiction of federal courts in reviewing naturalization denials after removal proceedings have begun.