April 10, 2010

The empire strikes back -- South Texas repeats as NAAC champions

South Texas College of Law was crowned champion of the ABA's National Appellate Advocacy Competition today, besting a field of 196 other teams that started the march to Chicago back in February. University of Texas School of Law was the runner-up. Texas Tech University School of Law and South Texas's second team were the semifinalists.

This is the second-straight NAAC championship for South Texas, and its fifteenth overall.

But they didn't stop at the big trophy -- Zach Bowman of the championship team was also awarded the National Best Advocate prize, and South Texas's second team won the National Best Brief award.

The victory was particularly impressive in light of the fact that the winning team entered the break rounds as the number 16 seed, having gone 0-2 in the preliminary rounds on account of an extraordinarily low-scoring brief. That South Texas was able to keep its point differential close enough to snatch the last octafinalist spot is a testament to just how incredible they were orally. It also highlights the ridiculous disparity in moot court brief grading; despite its low brief score here in Chicago, that team had the third-best brief in its region, which was two spots higher than the other South Texas brief that ultimately won the National Best Brief prize.

Congrats to my friends Rob "Darth" Galloway, Gerald "Emperor" Treece, and their amazing students on what is truly a remarkable accomplishment.

1 comment:

Mark Zoole said...

Brief grading in all competitions is nearly always the most unpredictable and subjective element. Substantial disparities between how briefs score regionally and then when re-scored nationally is nothing surprising or new. I therefore tend to favor the ABA's system of de-emphasizing brief scoring and making it possible,-- as So. Texas just showed,-- to win at the National Finals despite receiving a poor brief score. Mark Zoole, WUStL