National convention caps string of firsts for Willamette NAPALSA

by University Communications,

The team from Willamette University College of Law represented Oregon this month in the 2014 Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in Arizona. Tucker Kraght JD’15 and Derek Nelson JD’15 placed first in the Western regional competition held in Portland last month and were one of 16 teams nationwide invited to compete in the national competition during the 2014 NAPABA Convention.

Although they did not place in nationals, their October victory capped an impressive string of firsts: the regional competition was the first hosted in Oregon; Willamette University College of Law was the first Oregon law school to participate; and Kraght and Nelson were the first Oregon team to win regionals.

Another first was the effort by Willamette law student members of the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) to plan and organize the Oregon event. Samrach Sar JD’16, regional director for the NAPALSA, and Gabriel Lee, president of the law school’s APALSA, worked with the national chapter to make the event possible.

Sar also attended the national convention and was honored as the 2014 NAPALSA Student of the Year and elected treasurer of the 2015 NAPALSA board. Filling out the Willamette contingent were Daniel Noeun JD’16, elected public relations director of the 2015 board, and Alexis Shimada JD’17, elected PNW regional director.

“These are the kind of activities that shape good lawyers,” said Dean Curtis Bridgeman. “We’re proud of these students for taking the initiative to bring the NAPABA competition to Oregon and for serving as leaders in NAPALSA.”