The Advocates



Hippard Open Winners

Best Speaker Max Patterson 3L

Runners Up- (R) Foster Kennedy and  (L) Diego Frias (also best Finals Speaker)

Winners (R) AmyJo "AJ" Foreman and  Cassie Maneen.



Image may contain: 4 people, including Molly Bagshaw and Brittainie Zinsmeyer, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

Congratulations to the following Advocates who have been chosen to serve in the coming school year:

Advocates Executive Board 2018-19
Executive Chair: Brittainie Zinsmeyer
Vice Chair for Finance: James Dorough-Lewis
Vice Chair for Public Relations: Lauae Wolfe
Membership Chair: Edgar Hernandez
Fundraising Chair: Jenny Gardner
Special Events Chair: Molly Bagshaw
Hippard Open Competition Director: Kathryn Laflin
Hippard Novice Competition Director: Teri Russell
John Black Competition Director: Lucas Walker
Mediation and Negotiation Competitions Director: Eric Stitzel


Advocates Associate Board 2018-19
Sarah Hayes
Alex Tijerina
Kenneth Nguyen
Trevor Slaton-freeman
James "Tillman" Brogan
Bobbye Pyke
Christy Ho
Daniel Jung
Portia Allen
Macey Anderson
Cassie Maneen
Andrew Archer
Amanda Rhodes
Hannah Steen
Kat Zellner


On April 9, 2016 The Advocates elected the 2016-2017 Executive and Associate Boards.  Congratulations to the following Advocates who have been chosen to serve in the coming school year:

MacKenzie Dunham, Executive Chair
Sydney Nguyen, Vice Chair of Public Relations
Mariam Abdelmalak, Vice Chair of Finance
Gabriella Cole, Membership Chair
Carla Pelaez, Special Events Chair
Jeannie Nguyen, Fundraising Chair
Audrey Ewer, James J. Hippard, Sr. Open Mock Trial Competition Director
Janan Sharaf, James J. Hippard, Sr. Novice Mock Trial Competition Director
Jay Zhang/strong>, Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition Director
Allie Trujillo, John Black Moot Court Competition Director
Jelen Cato, Mediation and Negotiation Competitions Director

Aaron Ford
Dakota Fandry
Nneka Morah
Rachel Morefield
Brittany Gavula
Kevin Yang
Nick Morales
Greg Garvin
Brady Faglie
Sepi Zimmer
Kyle Seabolt
David Ghably

Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Board Members!


Congratulations to Laura De La Cruz and Shane Gilroy, who overcame a field of 14 teams to become the Champions of the 2014 James J. Hippard, Sr. Open Mock Trial Competition!  Laura De La Cruz was also the recipient of the Hippard Open Best Speaker Award.

Left to Right: Champions Shane Gilroy & Laura De La Cruz, and Runners Up Courtney Giles & Steve Maule.
Left to Right: Champions Shane Gilroy & Laura De La Cruz, and Runners Up Courtney Giles & Steve Maule.

The 2014 James J. Hippard Open Competition problem was State of Lone Star v. John Quincy Drath, a mock trial problem prepared by Marvin W. Jones for the 2013 National Trial Competition.  John Drath is accused of the murder of Steppen Walker after learning that Walker, who was 22 years old, was in a relationship with Drath's 17 year old daughter.  Mr. Drath asserted a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity.  Runners Up Courtney Giles & Steve Maule prosecuted the case, but Champions Shane Gilroy & Laura De La Cruz took the day for the defense.

Each year The Advocates at the University of Houston Law Center honor the memory of the late James J. Hippard, Sr., who endeavored to bring practical courtroom training to the Law Center, by hosting two intramural mock trial competitions.  The Hippard Open is open to all students at UHLC, while the Hippard Novice is open only to students with less than one year of experience on the UHLC Mock Trial team.  These tournaments give students the opportunity to develop invaluable practical skills by improving their oral advocacy and presentation abilities.

The Advocates would like to send a special thank you to Professor Barbara Stalder, Rick Anderson, and Flynne Bailey who judged the Final Round.  The Advocates would also like to thank Themis Bar Review for sponsoring the Champions Award and Jackie Houlette for sponsoring the Best Speaker Award. Additionally, the 2014 Hippard Open would not have been possible without the support of the lawyers from McDermott Will & Emery, Craft Chu PLLC, Zuniga Law Offices, Fettner Thompson, McIver Brown, Coplen & Banks, Green Trial Law, Tribble Law Firm, Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey, the US Department of Justice, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, who served as judges throughout the competition.

To learn more about The Advocates, and how you can get involved as a member, competitor, or volunteer as a judge in the upcoming Tom Newhouse Mediation Competition or Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition, please visit The Advocates webpage.