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‘Sweet 16’ Moot Court Teams Will Compete for National Championship at UH Law Center

Dec. 16, 2019 — The country’s top law school moot court teams will square off in January to determine the best of the best in the 12th annual Hunton Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship hosted by the Blakely Advocacy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center. The competition will be held Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 at the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse, 515 Rusk in downtown Houston.

Sixteen programs qualified for the tournament based on a point system developed by Jim Lawrence, executive director of the institute. Law school moot court programs earn points by achieving success in national competitions. Click here for current moot court rankings. Through the point system, the rankings recognize a law school’s sustained excellence in moot court over the course of an academic year.

“The rankings provide moot court advocacy programs an objective measure through which law schools can gain national recognition through the success of their students,” said Lawrence.  “Recognizing student achievement is always a good thing.” 

Prior to the championship competition, participating teams are invited to a symposium related to this year’s competition topic. The symposium is titled “Prosecutorial Ethics: A 360° View” and will feature U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Andrew Edison, Professor Suzanne Valdez of the University of Kansas School of Law, and an assistant U.S. attorney from the Southern District of Texas.

Over the three-day period, moot court competitors will argue both sides of a hypothetical case concerning whether a federal officer has immunity from state criminal prosecution under terms of the Supremacy Clause. Teams compete in four preliminary rounds with the eight best teams advancing to the elimination rounds.  The championship round will take place the afternoon of Feb.1 and will be presided over by Judges Jennifer Walker Elrod and James Graves, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; Judge Diane Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Texas Supreme Court Justice (ret.) Scott Brister; and William Peterson, a partner at Morgan Lewis and author of this year’s competition problem.

Competitors are: Baylor Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, George Washington University Law School, Liberty University School of Law, Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, New York University School of Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, St. Mary's University School of Law, South Texas College of Law Houston, Texas Tech University School of Law, University of Alabama School of Law, University of Georgia School of Law, University of Houston Law Center, University of Kansas School of Law, and William & Mary Law School.

University of Georgia School of Law won last year’s championship.

Activities begin Jan. 29 with a reception for competing teams at the Houston offices of Hunton Andrews Kurth. The symposium will be held Jan. 30 at the offices of Locke Lord in downtown Houston. Three hours of ethics CLE credit is pending for the symposium. Click here for more information and to register for the symposium.

Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Assistant Dean of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; Elena Hawthorne, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-1125,; John T. Kling, Communications Manager, 713-743-8298,; and John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-3055,

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 About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) is a dynamic, top tier law school located in the nation’s 4th largest city. UHLC’s Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Part-time programs rank in the U.S. News Top 10. It awards Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is more than just a law school. It is a powerful hub of intellectual activity with more than 11 centers and institutes which fuel its educational mission and national reputation. UHLC is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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