Texas Undergrads To Test Moot Court Skills At Baylor Law School

Feb. 24, 2005

by Alan Hunt

Baylor University Law School will host the 10th annual Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association competition Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center. Undergraduate students from throughout the state will compete in the two-day event, which has been hosted by Baylor Law School since the contest's inception in 1995.

Thirty-six teams are expected to compete from such schools as Baylor, Texas A&M University, Hardin-Simmons University, the universities of Texas at Austin, Dallas, Arlington and Tyler, Stephen F. Austin University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas Wesleyan University, University of North Texas, Sul Ross University, Midwestern University, Lamar University, Incarnate Word University and Howard Payne University.

Rounds will be held at 3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, with a reception to follow for participants from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the law school's Fanning Student Lounge. Quarterfinals will be held on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 9 a.m., with semifinals to follow at 10:30 a.m. and the finals will be held at 1 p.m. All rounds are free and open to the public, and university students are encouraged to attend.

The competition will be hosted by the Harvey M. Richey Moot Court Society of Baylor Law School and its president, Leah M. Puryear. The society consists of law students who have excelled in the intra-school and interscholastic moot court competitions. Each student has achieved the rank of Barrister within the society. Over 80 Barristers will participate as well as 40 third-quarter students who will volunteer as bailiffs. The Barristers will judge all rounds except the finals which will be judged by Law Dean Brad Toben and members of the law school faculty.

Professor Ron Beal is the faculty advisor to the Moot Court Officers and Heather Creed, director of student relations, is co-hosting the event.

"This competition allows undergraduate students to have an opportunity to see if they enjoy thinking on their feet while they are being grilled by knowledgeable judges," Beal said. "They get to see first-hand how the legal system works and just how difficult it is to stand in the shoes of the lawyer. They learn that the law is not perfect and it is up to the lawyers to guide the courts on how the law should be applied. If they enjoy this experience, they have been given a strong signal that law school is the next step for them.

"We are honored to host this competition," Beal added. "We believe that Baylor Law School has a duty to work in partnership with the undergraduate schools to provide a meaningful learning experience for the students. Even if they choose not to go to law school, they will walk away with an excellent understanding of how the legal system functions."

For more information, contact Beal at (254) 710-3611 or Creed at (254) 710-1911.

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