February 27, 2011

Advancing teams from D.C. and San Fran NAAC regionals

A few days ago I noted that the ultra-prestigious ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition was underway, with the first two of six regional competitions taking place in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Eight teams have now punched their Chicago dance cards, with another 16 spots up for grabs over the next two weekends.

I don't have any information on brief scores/rankings or top advocates, so don't ask (even if I did, I wouldn't post until after the whole tournament has finished in order to protect the anonymity of the teams). Without further ado:

San Francisco Regional:
Baylor Law School
UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law
University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law (2 teams)

Washington, D.C. Regional:

Charleston School of Law
Florida A&M University College of Law
Liberty University School of Law (2 teams)

In my Thursday post about strength of regions, San Francisco came out as either one of the weakest or one of the strongest regions, depending on which metric used. In any any event, Baylor's and McGeorge's wins should be no surprise, as both had teams in Chicago last year and boast strong programs. This marks the second-straight year for UC Hastings College of the Law to be denied a regional championship, which is somewhat surprising...

February 24, 2011

ABA NAAC starts today -- which region is the toughest?

The ABA National Appellate Advocacy regional rounds kick off today in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Next week, the Brooklyn and Seattle regionals will take place, and then in two weeks, the regionals will conclude in Boston and St. Louis. All in all, 207 teams will battle it out for the 24 spots in the national finals, which will go down April 7-9 in Chicago.

You may remember that last year, I did a very unscientific analysis of the "toughest" regional city in terms of program strength. I figured I'd do the same this year. I ran the numbers using three different metrics: last year's 24 ABA regional champions, the top 25 teams in the University of Houston Blakely Advocacy Institute's Moot Court National Championship rankings for 2009-10, and the current top 25 teams (for the 2010 ranking year) according to Brian Koppen's LawSchoolAdvocacy.com ranking site.

If we look at last year's 24 ABA regional champions, Seattle gets the nod for the toughest regional, hosting six schools that sent eight teams to Chicago's national finals (Texas Tech University School of Law (two teams), University of Texas School of Law, Loyola Law School Los Angeles (two teams), Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law). San Francisco and St. Louis bring up the rear, with just two schools at each regional having Chicago-bound teams from 2010 (Baylor Law School and University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in the San Francisco regional; Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law in the St. Louis regional).

If we use UH's MCNC rankings from the 2009-10 academic year, Seattle again comes out on top, with six top-25 schools battling for the four regional championships in that city (#3 Texas Tech, #4 Texas, #8 Chicago-Kent College of Law (Illinois Institute of Technology), #16 University of Arkansas School of Law, #23 Loyola Los Angeles, and #24 Cleveland-Marshall). Brooklyn actually ties Seattle in that category, with six top-25 schools (#7 Stetson University College of Law, #11 John Marshall Law School, #17 Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, #21 Brooklyn Law School, and #25 Seton Hall University School of Law). Again, St. Louis is the weakest, with just one ranked school (#18 Mississippi College School of Law).

Finally, under LawSchoolAdvocacy.com's 2010 running tally (which hasn't yet been "locked," although it does appear to be up-to-date), Seattle once again looks to be the toughest regional, albeit tied with San Francisco with five top-25 schools a piece. In the Emerald City, you've got #2 Texas Tech, #5 Texas, #11 Cleveland-Marshall, #16 University of Houston Law Center, and #22 Southwestern Law School. Meanwhile, in the City by the Bay, we see #3 UC Hastings College of the Law, #9 Loyola University Chicago School of Law, #12 Baylor, #18(T) Tulane University Law School,and #18(T) UCLA School of Law. St. Louis doesn't bring up the rear under this measure (although it was close); that honor goes to Washington, D.C., which has just one top-25 team under The Ranker's system: #23 American University Washington College of Law.

So, it seems pretty clear to me: Seattle is the toughest region (at least on paper) and St. Louis is the weakest.

Good luck to all you competitors and coaches. Come say hi to me in Seattle!

February 22, 2011

Hastings avoids temper tantrum; wins big at Juvenile Law

UC Hastings College of the Law won the championship at Whittier Law School's 16th Annual National Juvenile Law Moot Court Competition, which took place February 4-5. Second place went to George Mason University School of Law. A second Hastings team and DePaul University College of Law were the semifinalists. The tournament hosted 13 teams from nine law schools.

Together with its championship, the tournament was a clean sweep for Hastings. Its semifinalist team also won Best Brief and Madihha Ahussian (of the championship squad) was the Best Oral Advocate.

Hastings talks about its impressive run of strong finishes this winter here.

Colorado reaches out, touches judges at Telecommunications Moot Court

The University of Colorado Law School took home the top prize at the 17th Annual National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition, held February 4-5. The George Washington University Law School finished in second place. Catholic University, Columbus School of Law (who hosted the tournament along with the Federal Communications Bar Association) and the University of Baltimore School of Law rounded out the semifinalists. Eleven teams from nine schools entered.

Baltimore claimed two other pieces of hardware -- the Best Brief award and the Best Oralist award for student Kevin Penhallegon's work.

Colorado does some horn tootin' here. Catholic's got a write up here.

February 14, 2011

Florida collects championship at National Tax Moot Court Competition

The University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law placed first at the National Tax Moot Court Competition, held February 3-5 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The tournament, which featured 16 teams, was hosted by the Florida Bar Tax Section. Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit College of Law was the first runner up. New England Law-Boston was credited as the "second runner up"; Quinnipiac University School of Law was the other semifinalist.

New England had the Best Overall Brief; James Bailey of Florida was the Oral Argument Winner.

Florida has a website story that will make you smile here. New England talks about its success here.

Boston College persecutes field at Religious Freedom Moot Court

Boston College Law School emerged victorious at this year's National Religious Freedom Moot Court Competition, held February 4-5 at the George Washington University Law School. GW's own team was the runner up at the 23-team tournament. University of Kentucky College of Law and and Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School enjoyed semifinal finishes. Eighteen law schools sent teams.

Kentucky took home the Best Brief hardware, while BC's Katherine Connolly accepted the Best Oralist award.

BC's got a website rundown here.

William & Mary gets jiggy with it at Charleston

William & Mary Law School won the Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Competition, held February 4-5. Florida State University College of Law finished second in the 16-team tournament. Mercer University School of Law and Seton Hall University School of Law were the semifinalists.

Mercer and Seton Hall also took home the two Best Brief awards -- Mercer on the Petitioner side, and Seton Hall for the Respondent. John Phillips of Mercer was the tournament's Best Oralist in the preliminary rounds, with William & Mary's Richard Clausi earning Best Oralist recognition in the final round.

Florida State, clearly doing something right in the professionalism department, repeated in its bid to win the much-coveted "Professionalism Award." Hard to say which it will be more proud of -- that, or the second-place finish???

February 8, 2011

Thoughts on the "dying art of trial advocacy"

Don't know if you caught The Tennessean article that was picked up by USA Today this weekend concerning the dying art of trial advocacy, but I naturally had some thoughts as they relate to law school competitions. Those thoughts aren't nearly cohesive enough to be spun into some artful essay, so I'll just give 'em to you as they came to me.

1. The premise of the article--that lawsuits don't get tried anymore--is hardly news.

2. Even so, what will this "news" foretell for law school advocacy programs? On one hand, you could make the case that advocacy skills training is more important than ever, given that lawyers most certainly won't get on-the-job training in how to try cases. And while there's no question that trials don't happen very often, they nevertheless do happen occasionally, and I think everyone would agree that trying a case is something that every lawyer ought to be able to do (because you never know when you just might have to do it some day). If lawyers won't get the chance improve their skills in practice, then when else--other than law school--will they learn such skills?

3. On the other hand, will detractors of advocacy competitions (there are even a handful of them on the faculty at my school) use this as fodder for their arguments that these competitions add little to the educational process? If trying lawsuits is no longer a significant job duty of even those attorneys that call themselves "trial lawyers," then why do we need to emphasize it during law school?

4. Maybe there's a middle position somewhere between point 2 and point 3? Should we ask why moot court (appellate advocacy) and mock trial (trial advocacy) are the two most popular activities? Should the advocacy world instead shift its focus to other competitions, such as negotiation, arbitration, and client counseling, when it's obvious that those are the skills that lawyers will use far more often than courtroom advocacy?

Anyway, just some random thoughts. Comments?

February 4, 2011

Texas Tech wins NMCC

Sorry this took a while to post; I had some celebratin' to do with my students last night. Texas Tech University School of Law claimed its second-ever National Moot Court Competition national championship last night, defeating the University of Tennessee College of Law in the final round. TechLaw's last NMCC win came in 1979-80. Saint Louis University School of Law and Gonzaga University School of Law made the Final Four. More than 180 teams entered the 14 regional tournaments that took place in November.

Roger Williams University School of Law received the National Best Brief bowl, while Texas Tech's Alexis Butler was named Best Oralist.

February 3, 2011

NMCC semifinal results

And then there were two...

Texas Tech (#1 seed) def. Saint Louis (#5 seed)
Tennessee (#14 seed) def. Gonzaga (#2 seed)

The final round will be webcast starting at 8 p.m. EST. Go here to watch.

February 2, 2011

NMCC quarterfinal results

Texas Tech (#1 seed) def. Georgia (#9 seed)
St. Louis (#5) def. Roger Williams (#4)
Tennessee (#14) def. Cleveland-Marshall (#6)
Gonzaga (#2) def. Faulkner (#10)

The semifinal rounds are at 4 p.m. EST; the final round is at 8 p.m. EST. I think the final round will be webcast. If so, I'll post the address after I update with the semifinal results.

NMCC octofinal results

So, I had the seedings a bit messed up. Essentially, I presumed the folks running the competition were using a NCAA bracket when, in fact, they were not (they are now -- I brought it to their attention, and they fixed the problem, so all is good). So, what I wrote down last night as the ordering of the seeds was slightly off. I wasn't far off -- Boston was the number 3 seed, not the 6. Saint Louis was the 5 seed, not the 3. Cleveland-Marshall was the 6 seed, not the 5. Drake was the 11 as opposed to the 12, Maryland was the 12 and not the 14, and Tennessee was the 14 as opposed to the 11.

Anyway, here are the results of the octas:

Texas Tech (#1 seed) def. William & Mary (#16 seed)
Georgia (#9) def. Temple (#8)
St. Louis (#5) def. Maryland (#12)
Roger Williams (#4) def. South Texas (#13)
Cleveland-Marshall (#6) def. Drake (#11)
Tennessee (#14) def. Boston (#3)
Faulkner (#10) v. Pace (#7)
Gonzaga (#2) def. Case Western (#15)

Georgia State peachy keen at ABA Arbitration Competition

Georgia State University College of Law claimed the national championship at the national finals of the ABA Arbitration Competition, held January 21-22 at the ABA headquarters in Chicago. It defeated Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law in the final round. Stetson University College of Law and Fordham University School of Law advanced to the Final Four.

If you want to know the teams that advanced to the national finals, go here.

February 1, 2011

Live blogging from the National Moot Court Competition

I'm here at the national finals of the National Moot Court Competition in Manhattan. After the preliminary rounds, the field of 28 has been narrowed to 16, with the rest of the tournament following a "March Madness" elimination-style format. The octofinals and quarterfinals run Wednesday, with the semifinals and championship match on Thursday.

The 16 octofinalists, in order of seeds:

1. Texas Tech University School of Law
2. Gonzaga University School of Law
3. Saint Louis University School of Law
4. Roger Williams University School of Law
5. Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
6. Boston University School of Law
7. Pace Law School
8. Temple University Beasley School of Law
9. University of Georgia School of Law
10. Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
11. University of Tennessee College of Law
12. Drake University Law School
13. South Texas College of Law
14. University of Maryland School of Law
15. Case Western Reserve University School of Law
16. William & Mary Law School

Mississippi College charms all at Moot Court National Championship

Mississippi College School of Law outlasted 15 other top moot court programs at this weekend’s Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship tournament, and in doing so claimed the $4,000 top prize. The competition, which is hosted by the University of Houston’s Blakely Advocacy Institute, invites the country’s 16 best moot court schools as determined by competition finishes during the previous academic year (so in this case, 2009-10). Loyola University Chicago School of Law finished as the runner up and was awarded $2,000. UC Hastings College of the Law and The John Marshall Law School (last year’s champion) enjoyed semifinal finishes.

Mississippi College also claimed the Best Brief (which carries a $1,000 bounty), while Kate Cross of Texas Tech University School of Law won Best Advocate (also $1,000).

The competition field consisted of:

Brooklyn Law School
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Duke University School of Law
Florida Coastal School of Law
The George Washington University Law School
The John Marshall Law School
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Mississippi College School of Law
Seton Hall University School of Law
South Texas College of Law
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
Stetson University College of Law
Texas Tech University School of Law
UC Hastings College of the Law
University of Miami School of Law

In case you're wondering the standings for next year's Championship tournament, click here. Of course, that only represents a half a year's worth of results, and the number of spring tournaments far outnumber fall competitions. So there's plenty of time for things to significantly change...