WACO, Texas -
Two Baylor Law teams went head-to-head in the finals of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) regional Student Advocacy Competition after both teams swept their semi-finals. When it was over, the team of Patrick Crosby, Mason Jones, Joshua Dinsmore, and Maria McIntyre prevailed over the team of Aryanna Bradford, Mason Dunnam, Angela Gowing, and Phil Ricker. The winning team now advances to the AAJ national competition on April 11-13th in Philadelphia. The Baylor Law teams are coached by Baylor Lawyers Dave Deaconson with Pakis Giotes Page & Burleson, P.C., and Colin O’Neill of Fulbright Winniford, P.C.
Coach Dave Deaconson stated, “What enables Baylor Law to have continued success was probably summarized best by a coach of another law school, when he stated, ‘no matter what the clutter, your teams have figured out how to work around it…’,” He added, “Dedication, preparation, and the continued help from Baylor Lawyers who competed while at Baylor Law make the difference. The students see first-hand what it means to be a Baylor Lawyer.”
A total of 16 teams took part in the regional competition. During the tournament, teams tried a fictional civil case regarding a topic ripped from a recent news cycle involving a sports team that gets trapped in a cave by a landslide, and an injury that occurs during a heroic rescue.
Professor of Law Jim Wren gives much of the credit for the win in Houston to the dedication of several Baylor Law alumni who worked with both teams as they prepared their case, "Our advocacy program here at Baylor Law is the most rigorous program in the country, but even so, there is no way we could have the success we do without the active involvement of engaged Baylor Lawyers from all over Texas." He added, "In addition to the coaching these law students get from Dave Deaconson and Colin O'Neill -- giving up their evenings and Saturdays for these students -- it's a longstanding tradition at Baylor for these competitors to also get worked over by some of the best trial lawyers and judges in the country before they step into the competition. It makes a huge difference in their learning curve."
2019 marks the third year in a row that Baylor Law has won the AAJ regional Student Advocacy Competition, and this win is the is now the eighth advocacy competition won by Baylor Law teams during the 2018-2019 competition year. Baylor Law teams have won the Texas Young Lawyer Association State Moot Court Competition in June, the E. Earle Zehmer Worker’s Compensation Competition in August, the Mack Kidd Administrative and Public Law Competition and the Appellate Lawyers Association Moot Court Competition in October. In November a Baylor Law team took first place at the National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition, and in February, teams won the Elliott Cup Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition and the National Trial Competition Region 10 Mock Trial Competition.
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ABOUT BAYLOR LAW
Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,400 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program #2 in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked #48 in the magazine’s 2020 edition of "America’s Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training," and in the top 15 "Best Law School Facilities" in the country. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since the award's inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu