Albany Law School hosted its first Theodore T. Jones, Jr. Undergraduate Students of Color Moot Court Competition on April 2, 2016. This program is part of a diversity initiative established by the New York State Bar Association’s Commercial & Federal Litigation Section, to provide undergraduate students of color who may be interested in attending law school with an opportunity to participate in a law-related oral-advocacy competition with a chance to win scholarship money. The competition also allowed the undergraduate students to visit the Albany Law School campus, meet Albany Law School students, as well as local lawyers, and judges. The Competition is named after New York Court of Appeals Judge Theodore Jones, who served on New York’s highest court for five years prior to his passing in 2012, to honor his tremendous dedication to pipeline and other diversity initiatives. For more photos, CLICK HERE
Eight local undergraduate students participated in the Competition: six students from UAlbany and two from Siena College. Prior to the competition, the competitors were provided with court materials to prepare their oral arguments. Each team was paired with a local attorney or law student to prepare for the competition.
After two rounds of arguments, two teams advanced to the final round and argued before a panel of the following judges: Albany Law School President and Dean Alicia Ouellette; Victoria Graffeo, Partner at Harris Beach and former Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals; Randolph Treece, retired United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of New York; Christina Ryba, New York Supreme Court Judge and Serena Joyce Williams, Judge Jones’ former law clerk. Two UAlbany students won the competition. All of the participants received a cash prize. The judges were extremely impressed by the student competitors and commended them for their preparedness and for taking advantage of this opportunity to learn more about a career in the law.