2024 Gender + Sexuality Moot Court Competition

The Michigan State University College of Law hosts the Gender and Sexuality Moot Court Competition (GSMCC) annually each Spring. The competition provides a unique opportunity for law students to compete in two person teams and write an appellate brief on a current legal topic focusing on sexuality, gender, and the law. Teams will argue the case before a panel of judges. Each team will argue a minimum of three competition rounds and be provided with scoresheets and feedback on the written competition brief and oral arguments for each round.

2024 Competition Results

The 2023 Gender + Sexuality Moot Court Competition was held on March 23-24, 2024. Congratulations to the winners!


First Place:
University of Minnesota Law School (Leah Kanihan and Madeleine Kim)

Second Place:
University of Cincinnati College of Law (Sydney Sparks and Emily Harmon)

Semi-Final Teams:
UC Law San Francisco (Diana Banh and Brianna Fluhrer)
Columbia Law School (Hannah LeBaron and Andrew Brennen)

Quarter Final Teams:
Michigan State University College of Law (Tessa Phillips and Emma Haiser)
Seton Hall School of Law (Joseph Keller and Joanna Scotti)
University of Wisconsin Law School (Caitlin Vasington and Clayton Goetz)
Yale Law School (Donovan Bendana and Pablo Moraga)


1st Place
Michigan State University College of Law (Tessa Phillips and Emma Haiser)

2nd Place
University of Minnesota Law School (Leah Kanihan and Madeleine Kim)


1st Place
Brianna Fluhrer, UC Law San Francisco

2nd Place
Ava Sharifi, Gonzaga University Law School

3rd Place
Leah Kanihan, University of Minnesota Law School

2024 Complete Competition Results » (PDF)

To see more information about the competition and all teams competing this year please see:


    The Gender and Sexuality Moot Court Competition will be held on March 23-24, 2024.

    November 1, 2023: Registration opens
    December 1, 2023: Registration closes
    January 3, 2024: Problem released
    February 9, 2024: Last day for questions about the problem
    February 16, 2024: Briefs due
    March 23-24, 2024: Competition

    Registration costs $350 per team. Please Register online »

    Please see:

    2024 GSMCC OFFICIAL RULES and Participation Requirements (PDF, 1-3-24)

    This is an online competition. Using Zoom to facilitate this competition helps us to: (1) Keep costs low to increase accessibility and participation; (2) Recruit a pool of judges from across the entire United States with expertise in Gender, Sexuality, and the Law; (3) Gain experience and increase comfortability in online arguments consistent with the increasing availability of virtual courtroom appearances; and (4) Provide programs and students a competition option conscious of the cost, time, and physical demands of in-person travel.

    We are excited to announce that the State Bar of Michigan LGBTQ+ Section will sponsor the 2024 GSMCC Awards for outstanding Competition brief and oral advocacy. For more information see 2024 GSMCC Awards Sponsored by SBM LGBTQ+ Law Section.



    MSU College of Law is hosting the third annual Gender and Sexuality Moot Court Competition on March 23-24, 2024.

    The competition will be on ZOOM again this year, and we could use your help judging oral arguments.

    This year’s problem focuses on how previous precedent based on the binary definition of sex can be problematic when adjudicating Title VII claims, including claims that involve multiple genders and sexualities.

    The first issue involves an employment discrimination claim asking whether conduct that offends multiple sexes and genders can serve as a basis for a hostile work environment claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The second issue pertains to the correct standard of review given the expanding definition of discrimination "because of sex" to establish sufficient evidence of a hostile work environment.

    If you have any questions or trouble signing up, please get in touch with Heather Johnson at johnl98l@msu.edu or by phone at (734) 678-6712.

    Frequently Asked Questions about volunteering as a Moot Court judge:

    What qualifications do I need to be a Moot Court judge?
    If you are a law school graduate, a retired or practicing attorney or judge, you can be a Moot Court judge.

    What do I do as a Moot Court Judge?
    You watch and listen to current law students give their best arguments and evaluate their oral advocacy skills. You also have the opportunity to provide brief feedback and practice tips.

    Am I a solo judge or is their a panel?
    Judges typically serve in panels of three, you along with two other judges will watch arguments in each round.

    What sort of advance preparation is required?
    The Moot Court problem and bench brief will be sent to you before the competition. The materials will explain the legal issues in detail and provide a list of sample questions. We ask that you review these documents before the competition. No additional research is needed.

    Do I need expertise in any particular subject area?
    Short Answer: No. Longer Answer: In our experience, having judges from diverse legal backgrounds enhances our competition and the feedback provided to student competitors.

    Is training required?
    No. A brief informational meeting will be held before judging during the check-in time to familiarize you with the rules of the competition and the online scoring sheet.

    What do I do?
    The largest number of judges are needed for the preliminary rounds of the competition to be held on
    Saturday, March 23, 2024. Morning and afternoon time slots are available. Please indicate your availability when signing up.

    Can I watch the final round of the competition?
    The final round of the competition is broadcast as a WEBINAR on Zoom. Please check out the competition website for final round Zoom information.

    How do I sign up?

    Judge Registration »

    We would also like to thank the State Bar of Michigan LGBTO+ Law Section for sponsoring the 2024 GSMCC Awards for Best Oralist and Best Brief categories. For more information about the SBM LGBTO+ Section please see: https://connect.michbar.org/lgbtq/home.


    For additional information please email the competition leadership team at gsmcc@law.msu.edu.


    The Gender and Sexuality Moot Court Competition was created by Michigan State University College of Law Professors Heather L. Johnson and Nancy A. Costello with the support of Dean Linda S. Greene in 2022. Competition information including law school participation information, a link to the final round and award ceremony, and the competition results for each year are listed below.