Thomas Jefferson’s La Raza Law Students Association had the honor of representing TJSL on a National level when they competed in the 14th annual National Latina/o Law Student Association Moot Court Competition hosted by Yale Law School on September 30 - October 2.
Competitors Erica Gonzalez and Adrianna Maldonado, coached by Danaly Barajas, competed in two rounds among schools such as Texas Tech, Yale, UCLA, UC Davis and others from around the nation. While successful against Boston College Law School, the TJSL team ultimately fell to the 1st place team, Texas Tech.
The moot court problem centered on the San Diego case Floresvillar v. U.S., which was recently granted certiorari for review at the U.S. Supreme Court. Competitors analyzed current U.S. legislation that imposes differential residency requirements to confer citizenship to children born outside of the United States based on the age and gender of the U.S. citizen parent to which the child was born. The question presented was whether the differential treatment based on age and gender violates the principles of equal protection.
Floresvillar is a landmark case, with the potential to overturn the decision in the case of Nguyen v. U.S.
The National Latina/o Law Student Association also hosted their annual conference, themed “Ahora,” that focused on immigration reform, education reform, workers’ rights, voting rights, and access to healthcare in efforts to unite various sectors of the legal profession and tackle these urgent issues.
Guests included Honorable Jose Cabranes, the first Puerto Rican appointed to the federal bench and current Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit who was awarded a lifetime achievement award, and Dean Rachel Moran of UCLA Law School and first Latina dean of a top-20 law school. The team was inspiration to hear powerful Latinos speak regarding their achievements against adversity and their hopes for future Latina/o lawyers.
The team thanks TJSL Professors Julie Greenberg, Marybeth Herald, Luz Herrera, Bryan Wildenthal and Paul Spiegelman for their enlightenment on this complex problem. La Raza was also privileged to work with attorney Elizabeth Barros, the attorney who argued the actual case at the 9th Circuit Court of appeals.
In addition, the team especially thanks attorney Victor Torres and TJSL Moot Court team members for their direction and assistance, and says “it was a privilege to represent Thomas Jefferson at a national level.”