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January 18, 2023

SVSU students prep tirelessly for arguments at highly competitive moot court event

Eight Cardinals among 160 competing at AMCA National Tournament

male and female students holding awards

Eight Saginaw Valley State University students capped off a highly competitive moot court season by competing in the American Moot Court National Tournament hosted by Louisiana State University January 14-15.

The eight students – composing four teams – were:

  • Kennedy Kreger, a political science major from Battle Creek, and Jeffrey Ramsey, a political science major from Greenwood.
  • Ethan Rose, a political science major from Ypsilanti, and Abigail (Abi) Walk, a management major from Saginaw.
  • Ethan Day, Linwood, a 2022 professional and technical writing graduate enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program, and Diva Patel, a cell biology, molecular biology and biomedical sciences major from Kawkawlin.
  • Nikolas Baker, a political science major from Standish, and Garrett Powell, a political science major from Chesaning.

The team of Kreger and Ramsey advanced to the “play-in” round and defeated a team from the United States Air Force Academy to advance into the top 32 teams in the tournament.

SVSU’s moot court program includes intensive training and competing. Kreger appreciates all the program has to offer.

“There is a lot of value in being able to participate in moot court and competitions,” Kreger said. “While you learn how to read and analyze cases and how to apply that knowledge and analysis to make a legal argument, there are other skills you gain, as well. I have become a much better public speaker and have gained a lot of confidence.

“I plan to return to the moot court program next year for a final season. The success I had this season and the hard work my partner and I put into this season makes me feel much better prepared for next year.”

SVSU perennially has fielded strong teams, and Julie Keil, SVSU associate professor of political science and a moot court adviser, said this year’s showing continues that record of success, especially the performance of Kreger and Ramsey.

“Their finish along with ballots won by our other three teams should put us in the top 25 schools out of the 135 schools that competed,” Keil said. “Six of this year’s team members are juniors or sophomores and will most likely compete against next year, giving us a great leg up in competing next year.”

Keil explained that 135 colleges and universities from across the United States and Canada competed in ACMA regional moot court competitions in the 2022-2023 season. There were 16 regional tournaments between late October and early December.  Of those 500 teams – each comprising two students – only 80 qualified for the national competition; SVSU fielded four teams at nationals, thanks to students’ determination.

“Only one other school from Michigan qualified for nationals this year,” Keil said. “It was a rough year for competition.”

Keil and Amy Hendrickson, SVSU associate professor of law, served as coaches at the national competition. Keil praised Hendrickson and Kevin Lorentz, SVSU assistant professor of political science, for their work with the students.

“Dr. Hendrickson and the students worked long hours to prepare and polish their arguments to make them as competitive as they were,” Keil said.  “Dr. Lorentz also was heavily involved in working with students before they left for the national tournament. His assistance was instrumental in the success of the students and the program.”

The American Moot Court Association is the largest intercollegiate moot court organization in the United States. Participants in moot court act as attorneys in a simulated argument in front of the Supreme Court. Competitions are judged on the quality and clarity of the students’ arguments, their public speaking skills and knowledge of the law and the case.

SVSU’s moot court program has qualified for the national tournament nearly every year it has competed since the program’s inception in 2010. In 2020, SVSU’s moot court was ranked No. 16 in the nation. 

For more information about the American Moot Court Association, visit