Baylor Law To Host Undergraduate Moot Court Contest Feb. 20-21

Feb. 6, 2004

by Alan Hunt

Students from across Texas will compete in the annual Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association contest Feb. 20-21 at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center on the Baylor University campus.

This is the ninth consecutive year that Baylor Law School has hosted the event, which attracts more than 30 teams from schools such as Texas A&M, Hardin-Simmons, University of Texas, UT-Arlington, UT-Tyler, Stephen F. Austin, Prairie View A&M, Texas Wesleyan, University of North Texas, Sul Ross, Midwestern, Lamar and Howard Payne.

The two-day competition consists of two rounds on Friday, Feb. 20, with quarterfinals, semifinals and the final round on Saturday. 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, Brittani Rollen. The society offers membership and the rank of Barrister to law students who have excelled in the intra-school and interscholastic moot court competitions. 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 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," said Ron Beal, professor of law and faculty adviser to the moot court officers. "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 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."

Beal, who will co-host the event with Heather Creed, director of student relations, said Baylor Law School is honored to host the competition.

"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," Beal said. "Even if they choose not to go to law school, they will walk away with an excellent understanding of how the legal system functions."

Rounds will be held at 3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, with a reception to follow for participants from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Law School student lounge. Quarterfinals will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, with semifinals to follow at 10:30 a.m. The finals will be held at 1 p.m.

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