Bay City native
Justin Weller started off as a shy student who never read a Supreme Court case … to being only the second student in Saginaw Valley State University history to qualify for three consecutive Moot Court National Championships.
Moot court is an undergraduate pre-law competition where students are given a hypothetical case and are tasked with making constitutional arguments.
Justin, a political science major set to graduate in May, has participated in many programs on campus. His historic run on SVSU’s top-ranked moot court team both earned him national accolades and taught him valuable lessons.
He developed as a moot court competitor by practicing his public speaking skills and receiving valuable support from advisers and peers. His moot court experience helped develop his ability to think creatively as well as speak effectively and persuasively in a public setting.
We asked the Bay City native to reflect on his experience at SVSU. Here is what he had to say:
What was your favorite memory at SVSU?
“One of my favorite memories at SVSU was studying abroad in Italy. I was fortunate enough to be selected on a study abroad opportunity to study food insecurity. I got to perform my own research about the accessibility and availability of organic foods in Italy and compare my research to the United States. I also met some of my best friends during this experience and got to visit two countries and 13 cities while I was there.”
What was your proudest accomplishment at SVSU?
“My proudest accomplishment at SVSU was winning two national awards at the National Moot Court Competition. I was fortunate enough to qualify three years in a row for the national competition. At the national competition, I won a Top 32 Oral Advocacy Award my first year and a Top 5 Appellate Brief Writing Award my second year, both with my former partner, Lindsey Mead.”
What advice would you give an incoming freshman at SVSU?
“My advice for an incoming freshman is to get involved. College is a scary transition period, especially during a global pandemic, and finding your niche can be difficult. Trust me, I was in the same boat. I didn’t make many friends my first semester and was miserable. Eventually, I made some of my best friends through studying abroad and joining different organizations on campus. College is the four best years of your life, some say, and I can say confidently that your experience in college will be the best once you get involved in communities that center around your passions.”
What are your plans after graduation?
“My plans after graduation include taking a gap year, gaining professional experience in the field of higher education/student affairs before heading to graduate school in the future. I want to eventually work in a field that supports social justice and marginalized communities, and I want to play a hands-on role in helping shape people's lives for the better. “
The following clubs, organizations, and accomplishments that highlight Justin’s SVSU experience: