December 16, 2009

ABA NAAC regional assignments released

The staff at the ABA has had some difficulty this year setting the six regional cities for the 2010 National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Frankly, I'm surprised they're ever able to accomplish the monumental task of securing six (with the exception of Miami and Boston) federal courthouses to run competitions of 30-plus teams over a specific three-week period. Last year's city of St. Louis was replaced by Las Vegas, which the NAAC had used in 2007 and 2008.

Anyway, the teams had to lodge their preferences by Monday, and the ABA was able to turn those requests around in a day to release the regional assignments. Pretty impressive. They're now posted to the NAAC competitors site, but because the info on that site is confidential to the students and coaches, I won't divulge the address...

It's always a bit silly to try predicting the "toughest city" in terms of team strength, but hey, I might as well try. I ran the numbers using three different metrics: Last year's 24 ABA regional champions, the top 16 teams of the University of Houston Blakely Advocacy Institute's Moot Court National Championship rankings, and the current top 16 teams according to Brian Koppen's ranking site. Note that although Mercer University School of Law and University of Miami School of Law are participants in this year's Moot Court National Championship, they weren't in the original top 16 -- University of California Hastings College of the Law and Columbia Law School declined their invitations, which led to to Mercer's and Miami's entries.

If we look at last year's 24 ABA regional champs, it would appear that Boston is this year's toughest ABA regional, hosting six schools that sent a team to Chicago last year (Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Marquette University Law School, South Texas College of Law, St. Mary's University School of Law, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, and University of Florida Levin College of Law), including last year's national champion (South Texas). Las Vegas and San Francisco would appear to be the weakest regions, with just two schools at each having sent teams to last year's national finals (Vegas hosts Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology and University of San Diego School of Law; San Fran hosts Hastings and University of Texas School of Law).

Using UH's MCNC rankings from the 2008-09 academic year, Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. tie for the toughest, with three top-16 schools at each region. Brooklyn will play host to #15 Brooklyn Law School, # 6 Seton Hall University School of Law, and # 9 Texas Tech University School of Law, with D.C. fielding #4 Duke University School of Law, #14 Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, and #16 William and Mary Law School. San Francisco would seem to be the easiest, with only one school in the top 16 (#5 Hastings).

And finally, under's 2009 running tally (which hasn't yet been updated with results from seven fall competitions), the Miami regional looks like the roughest go, with four top-16 schools (#4 Michigan State University College of Law, #7 Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, #9 Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, and #13 Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University). Again, San Francisco is the lightest, with just one (#5 Hastings).

So, umm, yeahhhhh. Not a real definitive answer, except that San Francisco would appear to be the weakest regional under any of the three approaches.

***12/18 Edit: The ABA revised three regional assignments yesterday: SMU and Regent University School of Law have swapped cities, so now SMU will go to Brooklyn and Regent will go to D.C. Miami, rather than staying home, will now go to Vegas. Nothing changes above except as to the Houston MCNC rankings; with the addition of SMU, Brooklyn becomes the toughest city by itself (as opposed to being tied with D.C.) using that metric, having four top-16 teams instead of three.

December 10, 2009

ABA Arbitration finalists announced

Although 14 teams advanced to the national finals of the ABA Arbitration Competition last year, just 12 will make the trip to Orange County, California this coming January. The final 12:

Chreighton University School of Law
Duquense University School of Law
Michigan State University College of Law
Mississippi College School of Law
Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law (2 teams)
Southwestern Law School
Stetson University College of Law (2 teams)
Texas Tech University School of Law (2 teams)
Villanova University School of Law

It's been interesting to see the results at this competition over the past three years. Only Chreighton, Southwestern, and Villanova are schools that weren't among the national finalists last year. Stetson won the tournament in 2007, while Texas Tech won it in 2008. That, in my mind, shows pretty solid consistency in results. On the other hand, none of the four final teams from last year made it back this year...

December 9, 2009

Your honor, this is Ghostrider, requesting permission to buzz the witness?

Uh, that's a negative counselor; the courtroom is full.


Check out what Baylor Law School is planning on pulling off this summer. Apparently, it's convinced the Texas law firm of Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee to be its wingman and pony up some serious jack to sponsor a first-of-its kind competition. I haven't yet had the chance to talk to the powers that be at Baylor, but it appears they'll invite one advocate from each selected school to travel to Waco in June and prepare a mock trial case in 24 hours. The winner walks away with one stack of high society; those who screw up just *this* much are presumably condemned to a life of litigating cases about rubber dog sh*t in Hong Kong.

Great balls of fire.

I've got to give it to Baylor; this sounds absolutely incredible.

Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks...

December 8, 2009

UC Hastings serves up tasty concoction at Tang

University of California Hastings College of the Law took home the top prize at the international finals of the 2009 Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition. The tournament, which is put on by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Law Foundation, started with more than 70 teams spread across five regions. The international finalists met in Boston on November 21 for the championship. Nova Southeastern University Law Center won second place. Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the John Marshall Law School finished as semifinalists.

Nova Southeastern also claimed Best Brief honors. Tara Shelke of John Marshall was the Best Oralist.

Next year's international finals will take place in my hometown of Los Angeles.

Full results are here. Hastings has a web report here; Nova Southeastern has one here.

December 7, 2009

National finalist teams for National Moot Court Competition

The slate of teams is set for the national finals of the National Moot Court Competition, which will take place February 1-4 at the New York City Bar Association headquarters in Manhattan. The competition's regional rounds took place in November, with 172 teams entering from 118 American law schools.

Below are the 28 teams that will rumble for the 60th Anniversary trophy.

I've listed the teams according to region, with the regional champion listed first.

Region 1 (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island):
Syracuse University College of Law
Boston College Law School

Region 2 (New York, New Jersey):
Fordham University School of Law
St. John’s University School of Law

Region 3 (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland):
University of Baltimore School of Law
Temple University Beasley School of Law

Region 4 (Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina):
George Mason University School of Law
Wake Forest University School of Law

Region 5 (South Carolina, Georgia, Florida):
University of Georgia School of Law
Emory University School of Law

Region 6 (Ohio, Michigan):
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Region 7 (Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana):
Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
Mississippi College School of Law

Region 8 (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana):
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

Region 9 (Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas):
Saint Louis University School of Law
University of Arkansas School of Law

Region 10 (Texas, Oklahoma):
Texas Tech University School of Law
South Texas College of Law

Region 11 (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming):
Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
University of Colorado Law School

Region 12 (California):
University of California Hastings College of the Law
University of San Francisco School of Law

Region 13 (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana):
University of Washington School of Law
Seattle University School of Law

Region 14 (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa):
Hamline University Law School
University of Minnesota Law School

December 4, 2009

Michigan State turns in righteous performance at Emory's CRAL moot tournament

Michigan State University College of Law was the winner of the 2009 Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition, hosted by the Emory University School of Law. The tournament, which took place October 10-11, featured 24 teams from 16 schools. The University of San Diego School of Law finished second. South Texas College of Law and the University of Georgia School of Law were the semifinalists.

St. Mary's Law School won the Best Brief award, while Randy Freeman of San Diego was the competition's best oralist.

Michigan State has a press release here; San Diego has one here.