The Advocates

 

The Advocates Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE ADVOCATES

I. PURPOSE

The Advocates at the University of Houston Law Center is an organization comprised of law students whose purpose is to promote the art of oral and written advocacy through intramural competition and training.

II. MEMBERSHIP

Membership in the Advocates is open to all registered law students and is governed by the requirements stated in the By-Laws.

III. BOARD OF ADVOCATES

The governing body of the Advocates shall be known as the Board of Advocates and shall consist of an Executive Board and a panel of Associate Board Members, elected from the student membership in accordance with the By-Laws.  The responsibility of the Board of Advocates is to sponsor, organize, and manage competitions for the students at the law school.  The Board of Advocates shall strive to meet the needs of the student body and continually encourage students to enrich their law school career by participation in the Advocacy Program.

IV. CONSTITUTION

The operation and governing of the Advocates shall be in accordance with this Constitution and the By-Laws.

Any changes or amendments to the Constitution or By-Laws will be made in accordance with the By-Laws.

V. MEETINGS

The Board of Advocates shall hold at least two Executive Board meetings per semester term and at least one general Board meeting every other week per semester term.

Quorum, required for any formal action by the Board, shall be a simple majority of the Board. 

VI. ELECTIONS

Elections for the Board of Advocates shall be held at least once a year in accordance with this Constitution and the By-Laws.

VII. AVAILABILITY

A copy of the current Advocates Constitution and By-Laws shall be kept on file in the Advocates' Office, with the Office of Student Services and with the Office of Campus Activities.

THE ADVOCATES BY-LAWS

I. MEMBERSHIP

A.  To be eligible to join the Advocates, a law student must:

1.  Pay one-time membership dues of $60.

II. ELECTIONS

Elections for the Board of Advocates shall be held each spring semester in accordance with these By-Laws.  The outgoing Board shall remain available for consultation and support until the end of the spring semester.  In the event that elections take place before the completion of any competition or official Board of Advocates event, any other competition originally organized by the outgoing Board, or completion of duties as defined herein, the outgoing Board shall remain responsible for the running of those competitions or duties.  Otherwise, the governing and operation of the Advocates is vested in the incoming Board from the time of their election.

A.  Election of Associate Board Members

1.  The twelve Associate Board Members will be elected by the Advocates general membership by vote in the Spring semester.

2.  An Associate Board Member is responsible for assisting in all Advocate projects.  An Associate Board Member will be required to: serve the required number of hours each week in the Advocates' office, obtaining judges and assisting the running of the office; attend Advocates Board meetings and events; serve as an assistant to an Executive Board member; attend all final rounds of all competitions, and be responsible for at least one writing project. Associates may be assigned further tasks at the discretion of the Executive Chair.  Each Associate Board Member that fails to fulfill these requirements is subject to removal in accordance with Section 4 of the By-Laws.

3.  All members in good standing of The Advocates are eligible to vote for twelve candidates of their choice for the twelve Board Member positions.

B.  Election of Executive Board Members

1.  Notice of the election for the Executive Board will be conducted as follows:

   a.  Notice will be posted no later than one week prior to the actual election;

   b.  Notice will be posted on:

       1)  the door of the Advocates' office,

       2)  throughout the school in a manner designed to insure adequate notice to any Advocate member of the upcoming election, and

       3)  through the University of Houston email system to the General Board of Advocates distribution list.

2.  Copies of the responsibilities and duties should be posted prior to the election.

3.  Responsibilities and Duties of the Executive Board Member:

a.  Executive Chair: The Executive Chair shall assume final responsibility for the overall operation of the Advocates program and the Board of Advocates.  The Executive Chair shall be responsible for ensuring that the Board of Advocates functions in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws and the relevant administration requirements.  In order for the Executive Chair to effectively supervise, guide and assist each Board member, it is necessary that each Board Member report regularly and directly to the Executive Chair.

To maintain the Administration's confidence and support of the Advocates, it is important that the Executive Chair serve as the Board's liaison with the Administration and the Faculty.  To this end, Board Members with questions or problems requiring the Administration's involvement shall bring such issues to the Executive Chair who shall then contact the appropriate Administrator and resolve the problem.

The Executive Chair shall conduct, or appoint another Board Member to conduct, all Board meetings and meetings of the general membership.

The Executive Chair shall maintain and update a Competition or Event Notebook for each competition or event the Board of Advocates sponsors. The Competition or Event Notebook shall contain rules and procedures that the Competition Chairs must follow. The Executive Chair shall update the Competition and Event Notebooks at least once per year.

Each Spring the newly elected Executive Chair shall meet with the outgoing Executive Chair and select the University of Houston Law Center students to be entered into the Order of Barristers in accordance with the requirements of Section VI of the By-Laws.  The final list of candidates and qualifications shall be submitted to the team coaches and the faculty advisors for approval.

Each spring the newly elected Executive Chair and the outgoing Executive Chair shall meet with the outgoing Vice-Chair for Finance and the newly elected Vice-Chair for Finance to draw up a proposed budget for the following year.  The Executive Chair shall strive to ensure that the Board of Advocates operates within the budget parameters that are fiscally prudent.  The Executive Chair shall keep an authorized signature on file with the bank where the Board of Advocates maintains its account.

The Executive Chair shall not take the February Bar Exam during his or her term of office.

b. Vice-Chair for Finance: The Vice-Chair for Finance is responsible for the day to day organization of the Advocates financial affairs. The Vice-Chair for Finance shall prepare an individual budget for each competition or event that the Board of Advocates sponsors.  The Vice-Chair for Finance will be responsible for ensuring that any fees collected will be handled and accounted for subject to all relevant UHLC and UH accounting procedures.

The Vice-Chair for Finance shall meet in the spring with the newly elected Vice-Chair for Finance, the newly elected Executive Chair and the retiring Executive Chair to draw up a proposed budget for the coming year. 

The Vice-Chair for Finance shall keep his or her signature on file at the bank where the Advocates maintain its account. The Vice-Chair for Finance shall work closely with the other Board Members in order to know when funding requests must be made.  The Vice-Chair for Finance shall also be responsible for the ordering of all certificates and plaques.  All deposits shall be promptly deposited.  Students are to be reimbursed as soon as possible after receiving reimbursements from the Administration.  Administrative Request Forms (ARFs) shall be submitted to the Administration to ensure prompt repayment to students. 

Upon the temporary absence of the Executive Chair, the Vice-Chair for Finance will assume all responsibility and authority usually exercised by the Executive Chair. The Vice-Chair for Finance shall report regularly and directly to the Chair and shall report at each Executive Board Meeting.

The Vice-Chair for Finance shall not take the February Bar Exam during his or her term of office.

c. Vice-Chair for Public Relations: The Vice-Chair for Public Relations shall be in charge of all advertising and promotions.  The Vice-Chair for Public Relations is also responsible for registering the final rounds of all competitions and publicizing the final round of all competitions.  The Vice-Chair for Public Relations is also responsible for maintaining and updating the Advocates website.  The Vice-Chair for Public Relations shall keep his or her signature on file at the bank where the Advocates maintain its account.  The Executive Chair may assign further tasks to the Vice-Chair for Membership at his or her sole discretion.

d. Membership: Membership shall maintain and update the membership roster of the Advocates. Membership is responsible for actively recruiting new members into the Board of Advocates. Membership shall maintain the Board of Advocates Membership records including payment of dues and points earned. Membership shall maintain the Judge Database for the Board of Advocates and update it at least once a year. The Executive Chair may assign further tasks to the Membership Chair at his or her sole discretion.

e.  Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Executive: The Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Executive shall be responsible for the running of the Hippard Mock Trial Competition (Open Division) sponsored by the Advocates.  These responsibilities include but are not limited to:

1)  Posting the dates of the competition;

2)  Posting any and all prerequisites for participation in the competition and any and all prerequisites for receiving credit for participation;

3)  Planning and conducting any seminars offered in preparation for the competition;

4)  Scheduling all rounds and room assignments;  and,

5)  The planning and execution of the receptions and the final rounds.

The Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Executive shall follow all rules and procedures as outlined in the Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Notebook that will be provided to him or her by the Executive Chair.

The teams that place first and second in the competition shall receive a cash award in an amount determined by the Vice-Chair for Finance. Teams that advance to the semi-final and final rounds shall receive a plaque. The Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Executive shall, at the end of the competition, give the Vice-Chair for Finance a list of persons that shall receive cash awards and plaques.

All publicity for the competition shall be the responsibility of the Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Executive.  The Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Executive shall be responsible for updating any perpetual plaques or trophies maintained in the Board of Advocates Office for the Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition.  The Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Executive shall also maintain accurate records of those students who are entitled to academic credit and Hofheinz Points by virtue of their participation in a mock trial competition.  These records shall be turned over to the Executive Chair by the end of the week after the competition was completed.  The Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Executive shall report regularly and directly to the Executive Chair.

f.  Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Executive: Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Executive shall be responsible for the running of the Hippard Mock Trial Competition (Novice Division) sponsored by the Board of Advocates.  These responsibilities include but are not limited to:

1)  Posting the dates of the competition;

2)  Posting any and all prerequisites for participation in the competition and any and all prerequisites for receiving credit for participation;

3)  Planning and conducting any seminars offered in preparation for the competition;

4)  Scheduling all rounds and room assignments; and,

5)  The planning and execution of the receptions and the final rounds.

The Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Executive shall follow all rules and procedures as outlined in the Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Notebook that will be provided to him or her by the Executive Chair.

The teams that place first and second in the competition shall receive a cash award in an amount determined by the Vice-Chair for Finance. Teams that advance to the semi-final and final rounds shall receive a plaque. The Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Executive shall, at the end of the competition, give the Vice-Chair for Finance a list of persons that shall receive cash awards and plaques.

All publicity for the competition shall be the responsibility of the Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Executive.  Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Executive is responsible for updating any perpetual plaques or trophies maintained in the Board of Advocates Office for the Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition. The Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Executive shall also maintain accurate records of those students who are entitled to academic credit and Hofheinz Points by virtue of their participation in a mock trial competition.  These records shall be turned over to the Executive Chair by the end of the week after the competition was completed.  The Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Executive shall report regularly and directly to the Executive Chair.

g.  Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Executive: Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Executive shall be responsible for the running of the Blakely/Butler Moot Court Competition. His or her responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

1)  Posting the dates of the competition

2)  Posting any and all prerequisites for participation and any and all prerequisites for earning credit for participation;

3)  Planning and conducting any seminars offered in preparation for the competition;

4)  Setting up all guidelines pertaining to any briefs or memorandums required for the competition;

5)  Collecting any briefs or memorandums;

6)  Scheduling all rounds and room assignments;

7)  Planning and execution of the reception and the final round.

The Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Executive shall follow all rules and procedures as outlined in the Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Notebook that will be provided to him or her by the Executive Chair.

The teams that place first and second in the competition shall receive a cash award in an amount determined by the Vice-Chair for Finance. If an award is given for Best Brief, the team that wins the Best Brief award shall receive a cash award in an amount determined by the Vice-Chair for Finance. Teams that advance to the semi-final and final rounds or who win a Best Brief award shall receive a plaque. The Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Executive shall, at the end of the competition, give the Vice-Chair for Finance a list of persons that shall receive cash awards and plaques.

The Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Executive shall be responsible for updating any perpetual plaques or trophies maintained in the Board of Advocates Office for the Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition.  All publicity for the competition shall be the responsibility of the Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Executive.  The Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Executive shall also maintain accurate records of those students entitled to academic credit and Hofheinz Points by their participation in an intramural moot court competition.  These records shall be turned over to the Executive Chair by the end of the week after the competition was completed.  The Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Executive shall report regularly and directly to the Executive Chair.

The Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Chair shall not take the February Bar Exam during his or her term of office.

h.  John Black Moot Court Competition Executive: The John Black Moot Court Competition Executive shall be responsible for the running of the mandatory and competitive rounds of the John Black Moot Court Competition. His or her responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

1)  Posting the dates of the competition

2)  Posting any and all prerequisites for participation and any and all prerequisites for earning credit for participation;

3)  Planning and conducting any seminars offered in preparation for the competition;

4)  Setting up all guidelines pertaining to any briefs or memorandums required for the competition;

5)  Collecting any briefs or memorandums;

6)  Scheduling all rounds and room assignments;

7)  Planning and execution of the reception and the final round.

 The John Black Moot Court Competition Executive shall follow all rules and procedures as outlined in the John Black Moot Court Competition Notebook that will be provided to him or her by the Executive Chair.

Because the mandatory rounds are held in conjunction with the LRW Department, the John Black Moot Court Competition Executive shall work closely with LRW Faculty in the preparation, planning and execution of the mandatory rounds.

The teams that place first and second in the competition shall receive a cash award in an amount determined by the Vice-Chair for Finance. If an award is given for Best Brief, the team that wins the Best Brief award shall receive a cash award in an amount determined by the Vice-Chair for Finance. Teams that advance to the semi-final and final rounds or who win a Best Brief award shall receive a plaque. The John Black Moot Court Competition Executive shall, at the end of the competition, give the Vice-Chair for Finance a list of persons that shall receive cash awards and plaques.

The John Black Moot Court Competition Executive shall be responsible for updating any perpetual plaques or trophies maintained in the Board of Advocates Office for the John Black Moot Court Competition.  All publicity for the competition shall be the responsibility of the John Black Moot Court Competition Executive. The John Black Moot Court Competition Executive shall report regularly and directly to the Executive Chair.

The John Black Moot Court Competition Chair shall not take the February Bar Exam during his or her term of office.

i.  Executive for Mediation and Negotiation: The Executive for Mediation and Negotiation shall be responsible for the running of the Tom Newhouse Mediation Competition and the Lorance & Thompson Negotiation Competition sponsored by the Advocates.  These responsibilities include but are not limited to:

1)  Posting the dates of the competitions;

2)  Posting any and all prerequisites for participation in the competitions and any and all prerequisites for receiving credit for participation;

3)  Planning and conducting any seminars offered in preparation for the competitions;

4)  Scheduling all rounds and room assignments;  and,

5)  The planning and execution of the receptions and the final rounds.

The Executive for Mediation and Negotiation shall follow all rules and procedures as outlined in the Mediation Competition Notebook and the Negotiation Competition Notebook that will be provided to him or her by the Executive Chair.

The teams that place first and second in the competition shall receive a cash award in an amount determined by the Vice-Chair for Finance. Teams that advance to the semi-final and final rounds shall receive a plaque. The Executive for Mediation and Negotiation shall, at the end of the competition, give the Vice-Chair for Finance a list of persons that shall receive cash awards and plaques.

The Executive for Mediation and Negotiation shall be responsible for updating any perpetual plaques or trophies maintained in the Board of Advocates Office for the Mediation Competition or the Negotiation Competition. The Executive for Mediation and Negotiation shall also maintain accurate records of those students who are entitled to Hofheinz Points by virtue of their participation in a mediation or negotiation competition.  These records shall be turned over to the Executive Chair by the end of the week after the competition was completed.  The Executive for Mediation and Negotiation shall report regularly and directly to the Executive Chair.

j. Fundraising: The Executive for Fundraising shall be responsible for soliciting donations and hosting events to raise money for the Advocates.  The fundraising events can vary by year, but must be approved by the Executive Chair and the two Vice-Chairs.   

k. Special Events: The Executive for Special Events shall be responsible for planning the Annual End of Year Banquet.  The Executive is also responsible for a fall social event for the membership.  Additional events with Alumni shall be held annually. 

The Executive is also responsible for assisting the administration of other special events deemed appropriate by the Executive Board.

The Executive Board Member for Special Events shall report regularly and directly to the Executive Chair.

4.  ELIGIBILITY

The following requirements must be met by any person who runs
for the Board of Advocates:

a.  Currently enrolled in the University of Houston Law Center, and

b.  A member in good standing of the Advocates.

5.  METHOD OF SELECTION

Selection of the Executive Board Members for the following year
will be conducted as follows:

a.  An election meeting of the entire Board of Advocates shall
be called.  Notice of this meeting will be posted not less than one
week prior to the actual meeting.

b.  Candidates are allowed to run for more than one Executive
Board Member position.

c.  A member can only hold one position on the Board.

d.  All candidates running for an Executive Board position shall be allowed at least five minutes to state their names, qualifications, and any other pertinent information concerning the Executive Board position.  Candidates shall be interviewed one at a time.

e.  The current Executive Board, headed by the current Executive Chair, shall conduct the meeting and ask each candidate questions pertaining to the position being sought.

f.  The Associate Board Members shall be present for the candidate questions and answers.  Questions from the Associate Board Members may be asked following the interview by the Executive Board.

g.  After the candidates have been interviewed, open discussion among Board Members shall be conducted outside the presence of any of the candidates.  Ballots will be distributed to all members of the Board of Advocates present. 

    1)  The voting shall be by secret ballot.

    2)  The Executive Chair shall announce the results for each Executive Board position to the Board of Advocates after the voting process is complete.  The actual vote tally will not be announced, but upon request any candidates are entitled to know the vote totals in their race following the election proceedings.

h.  Each Board Member and 1L representative shall have one vote for each Executive Board position, except for a position for which the Board Member is a candidate.  The election shall be conducted in the following order after interviews of the candidates for each individual race:

    1)  Executive Chair;

    2)  Vice-Chair for Finance

    3)  Vice-Chair for Public Relations

    4)  Membership;

    5)  Hippard Open Mock Trial Competition Executive

    6)  Hippard Novice Mock Trial Competition Executive

    7)  Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Executive

    8)  John Black Moot Court Competition Executive;

    9)  Executive for Mediation and Negotiation;

    10)  Special Events

    11)  Fundraising

A two-thirds majority of the Board present at the election meeting may change the order of voting.

i.  Any current board Member running for a particular position will be asked to leave the room when the discussion and voting for that position are being conducted.  No candidate will be permitted to vote for the position for which he or she is running.

j. Executive Board Members are elected by a simple majority of Board Members present and voting.   

    1)  In the event that a majority vote is not received, the two candidates with the highest number of votes shall be announced and voting shall again take place between these two candidates pursuant to the aforementioned procedures.

    2)  In the event of a tie the vote of the outgoing Board Member for that position shall be considered the deciding vote, unless that Board Member is running for re-election.  In that event the vote of the Chair shall be the deciding vote. 

k.  After the votes have been tallied and a decision has been made for all the Executive Board positions, winners shall be posted on the board outside the Advocates' office no later than the following day by the outgoing Chair.

l.  Excluding the names of the winning candidates and as is provided in Section II(B)(5)(g)(2) of the By-Laws, no information concerning the vote count, Board discussion, or any other information relating to the election process shall be communicated to any person not present in the election room.  Any Board Member who violates this provision will not receive academic credit for the semester when the violation occurred.

m.  Board Members must be present to vote.  There shall be no voting by proxy.

III.  FILLING A BOARD POSITION VACANCY CREATED BY THE REMOVAL/RESIGNATION OF A BOARD MEMBER

A.  REPLACEMENT OF AN EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER

 Upon the removal or resignation of an Executive Board Member other than the Executive Chair, the Executive Chair must determine whether it is necessary to appoint an Interim Board Member to temporarily perform the duties of the office which has been vacated (such an appointment might be necessary in the midst of a competition, etc.).  If it is determined that the appointment of an Interim Board Member is necessary, the Executive Chair shall appoint such an Interim Board Member until a replacement Executive Board Member is elected by a majority vote of the Board of Advocates following the election procedure detailed below.  If the appointment of an Interim Board Member is not necessary, then the Board of Advocates will elect a replacement Executive Board Member according to the following procedure:

1.  The Executive Chair will post a notice in the Advocate Office of the vacancy for the Executive Board Member position and announce the vacancy through the University of Houston Law Center email system.  The notice must invite all interested Associate Board Members to apply for the vacant Executive Board position.

2.  The Executive Chair will call a meeting of the Board of Advocates within seven days of the occurrence of a vacancy of an Executive Board Member position to interview all Associate Board Members who apply for the position.  After the interviews, the Board of Advocates shall elect, by majority vote, administered by secret ballot, an Associate Board Member to fill the vacant Executive Board Member position.  In the event of a tie vote, the Executive Chair's vote will be the deciding vote.

3.  In the event that none of the Associate Board Members desire the Executive Board Member position, then a majority of the Board of Advocates may appoint an Advocate member in good standing to that position.

4.  The Chair will then post notice of the newly elected Executive Board Member.  The new Executive Board Member will take office immediately.

B.  REPLACEMENT OF AN ASSOCIATE BOARD MEMBER

 Upon the removal or resignation of an Associate Board Member, the position will be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Advocates. Any Advocate member in good standing may be a candidate for the position and the Executive Chair shall give proper notice of the vacancy.

C.  REPLACEMENT OF THE CHAIR

1.  Upon the Executive Chair’s removal, resignation or inability to serve, a meeting will be called to elect a new Executive Chair.  This meeting shall be conducted by the Vice-Chair for Finance—who will also act as Interim Chair.  In the event that the Vice-Chair for Finance chooses to run as a candidate for Executive Chair or is unable to act as Interim Chair, the remaining members of the Executive Board Members shall appoint an Interim Chair who will conduct the election of the new Executive Chair.  Such replacement election must occur within seven days of the removal or resignation of the Executive Chair.

2.  Upon the temporary absence of the Executive Chair, the Vice-Chair for Finance will assume all responsibilities and authority usually exercised by the Executive Chair.

3.  In the event that no Executive or Associate Board Member is desirous of the Chair position, then a majority of the Board of Advocates may appoint an Advocate member in good standing to that position.

D.  BOARD MEMBERS WHO RESIGN OR ARE REMOVED

If any Board Member resigns or is removed from office, that Board Member will not be allowed to serve at any level of the Board until the next General Election.  This requirement may be waived by a two-thirds majority of the members present at a regular meeting of the Board of Advocates.  If this bar is not waived, the Board Member who resigned may run in the next General Election.

IV. REMOVAL OF BOARD MEMBERS

A.  An Associate Board Member or General Member may be removed from membership of the Advocates for cause by a majority vote of the Executive Board of Advocates.

B.  The removal of any of Executive Board Members, with the exception of the Chair, for (1) non-attendance at Board meetings or events, (2) dereliction of duty, or (3) conduct unbecoming the position shall be within the province of the Executive Chair with concurrence of the Faculty Advisor of the Advocates.  Upon final decision, notice of removal and reasons therefore shall be given to the removed Board Member.  The notice must be in writing and signed by the Executive Chair and a Faculty Advisor.

V. REMOVAL OF THE CHAIR

The Executive Chair may be removed from office with the approval of two-thirds of the vote of the entire Board of Advocates at a mandatory meeting called by the Vice-Chair for Finance for that purpose.  In an emergency situation, a proxy will be accepted by the Vice-Chair for Finance.

VI. ORDER OF BARRISTERS

The Advocates shall maintain membership in the Order of Barristers.  Individual membership shall be selected by a committee consisting of the Faculty Sponsor of the Advocates, the Coaches of the external interscholastic moot court and mock trial teams, and the Director of the Litigation Skills Program.  The incoming and outgoing Executive Chairs shall compile a written evaluation and recommendation of all candidates petitioning for membership in the Order of the Barristers.  This recommendation, and the applicants’ submitted petitions, shall be given to the committee for its consideration.  Selection of membership to the Order of Barristers shall be consistent with the selection guidelines of the Order of Barristers.  Selection shall be based on qualifications submitted to the Executive Chair by the candidate petitioning for membership in the Order of Barristers. 

VII. OUTSTANDING ADVOCATE

At the spring election meeting each year, the Board of Advocates shall select a 3rd year student, who is a member of the Board of Advocates, to receive the "Outstanding Advocate" award.  This award shall be based on service, dedication and achievements to the Advocate Program at the University of Houston for the previous year.  The winner shall receive a stipend from the Advocates scholarships and awards account, according to a Board-approved disbursement schedule. 

VIII. DISTINGUISHED ADVOCATE

At the spring election meeting each year, the Board of Advocates shall select a 2nd or 3rd year student, who is a member of the Board of Advocates, to receive the "Distinguished Advocate" award.  This award shall be based on service, dedication and achievements to the Advocate Program at the University of Houston for the previous year. The winner shall receive a stipend from the Advocates scholarships and awards account, according to a Board-approved disbursement schedule. 

IX. BYRON MCCOY EXCELLENCE IN ADVOCACY SCHOLARSHIP

The Board of Advocates shall award each year to a UHLC student, who is a member in good standing of Advocates, the Byron McCoy Excellence in Advocacy Scholarship.  This scholarship shall be awarded by the vote of a committee appointed by the Executive Chair.  The 5-person committee shall represent the interests of the external moot court teams, the external mock trial teams, the Litigation Skills Program, the Advocates, and the UHLC administration.  The scholarship shall be based on achievements in internal and/or external advocacy competitions for a UHLC student’s law school career. The winner shall receive a stipend from the Advocates scholarships and awards account, according to a Board-approved disbursement schedule.

X. ACHIEVEMENT IN ADVOCACY SCHOLARSHIP

The Board of Advocates shall award each year to a UHLC student, who is a member in good standing of Advocates, the Achievement in Advocacy Scholarship.  This scholarship shall be awarded by the vote of a committee appointed by the Executive Chair.  The 5-person shall represent the interests of the external moot court teams, the external mock trial teams, the Litigation Skills Program, the Advocates, and the UHLC administration.  The scholarship shall be based on achievements in internal and/or external advocacy competitions for a UHLC student’s law school career. The winner shall receive a stipend from the Advocates scholarships and awards account, according to a Board-approved disbursement schedule.

XI. BARRING STUDENTS FROM PARTICIPATING IN ADVOCATES’ COMPETITIONS

The Rules for each competition set forth a specific date by which registered participants must withdraw from each respective competition.  Failure of a student participant to give notice of withdrawal by the stated deadline will result in forfeiture of any entry fees paid and may result in that student being barred from participating in Advocates sponsored competitions for one calendar year.  If a student participant shows disrespect for a judge or fails to give a good faith effort during a round of a particular competition, the student participant may also be barred from participating in Advocates sponsored competition for one calendar year.  The Chair and Associate Chair(s) of the applicable competition and the Executive Chair will convene to discuss whether a particular student should be barred from participating in Advocates’ competitions.  The Executive Chair shall maintain responsibility for and notify all interested parties, including the Advocates’ sponsor and the Director of the Litigation Skills Program, of the decision. 

Any student wishing to appeal this decision must do so first with the Advocates’ Sponsor, then with the Director of the Litigation Skills Program, and finally with the Dean of UHLC. 

XII. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

The Constitution and By-Laws of the Advocates can be amended with the approval of three-fourths of the total Board of Advocates at any regularly scheduled meeting.

The Advocates do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation.