Law students Jaskaran “Jay” Singh and Lee Bennin are taking the University of St. Thomas Intellectual Property Moot Court Team to nationals later this month. They earned a spot in the Washington, D.C., competition after beating out 14 Midwest law school teams in a regional competition in March.
The regional qualifier for the Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition was held March 23-25 in Chicago, and pitted Singh and Bennin against law students from Northwestern University, Michigan State University, Indiana University, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago-Kent College of Law, the University of Iowa, Drexel University, and others. St. Thomas was named winner of the regional competition, and was recognized with best appellant and appellee brief.
Ten teams in total will compete in the national Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition from April 18-20 in the nation’s capital.
Singh and Bennin also took home the MIPLA Cup to St. Thomas in March, when they earned the top spot in the state’s IP moot court competition, beating out students from the University of Minnesota Law School and Mitchell-Hamline School of Law. The event was held March 19 and sponsored by the Minnesota Intellectual Property Lawyers Association.
Coaching the St. Thomas IP team this year are Lea Westman ‘15, associate with Kinney & Lange; Lukas Toft ‘13, associate with Fox Rothschild; and Anne Rondoni Tavernier ‘16, associate with Fredrikson & Byron. In addition to being St. Thomas law school alumni, all are first-year moot court coaches.
“The coaches were able to help us figure out the nuances of patent law and were a tremendous help,” Singh said. “The coaches were also able to get other attorneys and professors to come in, serve as guest judges, provide constructive feedback and help us improve.”
Singh, a third-year law student, graduates in May with a job already secured at a district attorney’s office on Long Island. He credits his experience with moot court for honing his interview skills, saying it “played a huge role” in his ability to land that job.
Bennin, a second-year law student, credits moot court for refining his writing, speaking and critical thinking skills. He hopes to earn an appellate clerkship after he completes law school.