MSU Law students win William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition

MSU Law students Kelsey Knudsen (’19), Polina Hristova (’20), and Yasmeen Ebbini (’20) won the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition in St. Paul, Minnesota on February 23, 2019. The MSU Law team went undefeated and beat 28 competing teams for the title.

“Kelsey, Yasmeen, and I couldn't have asked for a better group dynamic,” said Hristova. “Aside from our success at the competition, we grew to be close friends. This was the first time Yasmeen and I entered a national competition, and it was Kelsey's first competition as an oralist. We all, in one way or another, had to step out of our comfort zones. Through it all, we all motivated each other to do our best and had faith in one another.”

Hristova’s teammates shared similar sentiments.

“I am so proud of this amazing group of young women,” said Knudsen. “We put a lot of work into writing the brief and preparing for oral arguments, and it is always a great feeling when that hard work pays off. As a 3L, winning this competition was the perfect ending to my career as a law student, and I could not have asked for better teammates. Polina and Yasmeen are both such strong, smart, and talented advocates, and it was a privilege to work with and learn from them.”

“We really couldn't have won without the collective effort,” said Ebbini.  “I think when your partners are not just fellow classmates, but good friends, you become more cohesive and complimentary as a team and obviously that worked to our advantage.”

Alumnus David Sheaffer coached the team, and he is proud of their achievements. “It was an absolute privilege and honor to coach these young women and watch them succeed,” he said. “I'm sure that they will continue to shatter every barrier that dares to stand in their way.”

The team’s victory also received a special mention in the Detroit Legal News.