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Prestigious Moot Court Competition Celebrates 30 Years of Getting Future Attorneys Job- Ready

Published: March 18, 2021

New York, New York, March 18, 2021—Named after the longtime chairman of the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the International Trademark Association’s prestigious Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition celebrated its 30th anniversary last weekend as law school students from across the United States participated in the finals of the 2020–2021 competition.

A three-person team from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, emerged victorious (“First Place Overall”) in the competition, held on March 13. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, INTA hosted the competition virtually for the first time rather than in a courtroom in Washington D.C.

Nearly 70 teams participated in the 30th anniversary competition. Each year, many of the brightest young minds in the trademark world have converged to honor the legacy of Saul Lefkowitz, whose distinguished career was dedicated to the development of trademark and unfair competition law.

The competition focuses on a different problem each year. Teams of students write a brief reflecting the issues in the problem and argue the case in six regional competitions before a panel of volunteer attorneys and volunteer judges from various district and other courts. Then, the two winning teams from each regional competition argue the case in a national competition before TTAB judges.

The following teams are the winners of the national competition:

  • First Place Overall: Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Second Place Overall: Emory University School of Law (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • Best Oralist: University of Alabama School of Law (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
  • Second Place Oralist: Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Dolores K. Hanna Best Brief: Gonzaga University School of Law (Spokane, Washington)
  • Second Place Brief: Notre Dame Law School (Notre Dame, Indiana)

“The competition, from start to finish, refined my legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills—all of which I know will be continually important in my future legal career,” said Anthony Khilkov, one of the members of the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law team.

He continued, “The most important part was bonding with my teammates and seeing our hard work pay off. Our win is a testament to the fact that dedication, teamwork, and most importantly, fun, are the ingredients for success.”

Both of his teammates, Elizabeth Charles and Andrew Hartford, agreed. “I am so thankful I had the opportunity to dive into moot court so early in my legal education. My positive experience in the Lefkowitz Competition solidified my desire to pursue some form of litigation in my career,” Ms. Charles said.

Added Mr. Hartford, “The skills and legal experience that came from competing will benefit me immeasurably as I advance through my legal career, as will the relationships I have built with my teammates through many days and nights of research, writing, and preparation.”

The Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition began in 1991, just months after Mr. Lefkowitz passed away. John Baum (Owen, Wickersham & Erickson, P.C., San Francisco, California), was on the University of California, Davis team that won the inaugural competition and is now a member of the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Project Team.

Reflecting on his participation, Mr. Baum said, “The competition was the single most important factor in me becoming and remaining a trademark lawyer over the last 30 years. It wasn’t so important only due to the academics; it was the personal connections that I made with lawyers and other students.”

He noted that the valuable experience he gained in arguing a case is one of the reasons he secured his first trademark job.

Following on the success of the Lefkowitz Competition, INTA in 2017 introduced its Asia-Pacific Moot Court Competition, to open the moot court experience to students outside of the United States. For the 2021 Asia-Pacific Moot Court Competition, the online entry form is due no later than 5:00 pm (EDT) on March 19.

About the International Trademark Association
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation. Members include nearly 6,500 organizations, representing more than 34,350 individuals (trademark owners, professionals, and academics) from 185 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Beijing, Brussels, Santiago, Singapore, and Washington, D.C., and a representative in New Delhi. For more information, visit