From left: Carolyn Purcell, Emily DeVuono (coach), Megan Diffenderfer, Kellie Money and Ben Basil (coach).
From left: Carolyn Purcell, Emily DeVuono (coach), Megan Diffenderfer, Kellie Money and Ben Basil (coach).

Brandeis School of Law’s Moot Court Team of Megan Diffenderfer, Kellie Money and Carolyn Purcell won the national championship March 20 at the 40th annual Robert F. Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition.

The event was held at New York Law School and featured 38 teams. Brandeis beat George Washington University Law School in the final round to win the title.

Brandeis’ team was coached by Emily DeVuono, a 2015 Brandeis School of Law graduate and attorney at Grossman & Moore, and Ben Basil, a 2011 Brandeis School of Law graduate and attorney at Priddy, Cutler, Naake & Meade.

“The Brandeis School of Law is extremely proud of our three students and their coaches for bringing us home the national championship. Preparing for these competitions involves many hours of hard work. This title is a testament to how talented Brandeis students are and the fine training they receive in oral and written communication skills while at Brandeis,” said Dean Susan Duncan.

The team’s faculty adviser is Professor Ariana Levinson. She said this is the best finish the team has had in more than 35 years.

“I am very proud of this outstanding team and their coaches.  Carolyn, Megan, and Kellie are superbly skilled advocates and have a deep understanding of Employment Law.  As coaches, Ben, Emily, and Leah Smith, who with Ben coached Carolyn and Megan last year, have been unbelievably generous with their time and talents and are amazing leaders and role-models,” Professor Levinson said.

According to the New York Law School website, the Wagner Competition is the nation’s largest student-run moot court competition. This year’s authors, Kimberly Gay and Nicole Mozee, wrote a fact pattern that challenged competitors to argue whether transgender identity is a protected class under Section 703 of Title VII, and whether gender dysphoria constitutes a “serious health condition” under the Family Medical Leave Act.

The final round from March 20 is available online.

Alicia Kelso
Alicia Kelso is the director of social media and digital content. She joined UofL in 2015 as director of communications at the Brandeis School of Law. She also serves as a senior contributor at, writing about the restaurant industry, which she has covered since 2010. Her work has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Good Morning America and Franchise Asia Magazine.