Texas Undergrads To Try Legal Skills Before Baylor Law 'Barristers'

Jan. 31, 2006

by Alan Hunt, (254) 710-6271

Undergraduate students from across the Lone Star State will bring their courtroom expertise to Baylor Law School Feb. 17 and 18 to compete in the annual Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association competition. Two rounds will be held on Friday with quarterfinals, semifinals and the final round on Saturday. All rounds are open to the public and university students are encouraged to attend.

This is the 11th consecutive year that Baylor Law School has hosted the event, which attracts nearly 50 teams from schools such as Baylor, Texas A&M University, Hardin-Simmons University, University of Texas at Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Arlington and Tyler, Stephen F. Austin State 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.

The competition will be hosted at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center by the Harvey M. Richey Moot Court Society of Baylor Law School and its president, Keric Clanahan. The society's members are 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. More than 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 Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben and members of the law school faculty.

"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. 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," said Professor Ron Beal, faculty adviser to the Moot Court Society. "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."

Rounds will be held at 3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday with a reception to follow for participants from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the law school's Fanning Student Lounge. Quarterfinals will be held on Saturday at 9 a.m., with semifinals to follow at 10:30 a.m. and the final round will be held at 1 p.m.

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