SF State students win national moot court competition

Author: Steve Hockensmith
March 12, 2024
Olivia Clarke and Mayuu Kashimura

Olivia Clarke and Mayuu Kashimura are the 2024 National Moot Court Champions in the Respondent’s Brief category

Two San Francisco State University students beat teams from colleges across the country to win the American Moot Court Association (AMCA) Brief Writing Competition. Olivia Clarke and Mayuu Kashimura’s brief prevailed over more than 200 others submitted by students from schools like Yale, Clemson and UC Berkeley.   

“I was in shock when I first found out we won,” said Kashimura, a Political Science major who expects to graduate next May. “I remember calling Olivia as soon as I found out, and we were screaming.”

“I was ecstatic when I found out the news,” said Clarke, who’ll earn her Political Science degree this spring. “It was very surreal finding out that the brief we spent hours working on together had secured first place in the entire competition.”

Moot courts prepare students for the rigors of arguing a legal case. The brief competitions focus on the written arguments submitted by opposing sides. Clarke and Kashimura’s brief took the side of the respondent — the individual in the case rather than the government — to argue for a hypothetical woman’s right to use birth control as part of her freedom of religion and freedom of privacy.

“We picked this side because we felt like we were best equipped to argue a pro-respondent side,” said Clarke.

Clarke and Kashimura are members of San Francisco State’s relatively young Moot Court team. The team was created in 2017 when Nicholas Conway came to SF State as an assistant professor specializing in public law.

Read the full story on SF State News.