Advocacy Regional Champions Advance to ABA National Finals

March 1, 2016

Texas A&M University School of Law appellate advocacy and mediation teams both won their regional competitions and have advanced to the national finals.

ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition

Advocacy-Regional-Champs-22Feb2016Tyler Gregston and Blake Buether, ABA NAAC regional champs

The Texas A&M University School of Law moot court team of 3Ls Blake Buether and Tyler Gregston and brief writer 2L Melissa Cather have advanced to the national finals of the prestigious American Bar Association (ABA) National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC).

After winning the NAAC Regional Championship at the Brooklyn Regional ​in February, the team, coached by Joe Spence, of Shannon, Gracey, Ratliffe and Miller, L.L.P., will compete at the national finals in Chicago on April 7-9.

The law school last advanced to the national finals of the NAAC ​in 2012.

The brief for the regional competition was due in early January, which meant the students had to work hard over the holiday break.

Another team of 3Ls Ben Nystrom, Kirsten Thompson and writer Andrew Bell finished as Regional Semi-Finalists. The team was coached by Jennifer Ellis (’05), Director of Advocacy Programs.

Ellis said she is “so pleased” with the efforts put forth by the students, and knows they will represent the law school well at the national finals.

“Both Tyler and Blake have completed in moot court since the undergraduate level,” she said. “It is very rewarding to see all of their dedication and hard work pay off.”

ABA Representation in Mediation Competition

Advocacy-Regional-Champs-29Feb2016 Lynne Nash and Justin Davis on right with competition judges (left to right) Eric Green of Dallas, Joshua Galicia '13 and Dr. Emily Hunter of Baylor University

Continuing February's Aggie Law ​advocacy success, the 3L team of Lynne Nash and Justin Davis won the Region 8 rounds of the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition in Fort Worth.

In April, Nash and Davis, coached by adjunct professor of law Kay Elliott, will represent the law school in the national finals of the ABA competition in New York City.  

Nash and Davis led after the preliminary rounds and won the final round unanimously. This is Nash’s second regional title.

“It’s nice when talent and dedication results in a championship,” Ellis said.

The other Region 8 team of 3Ls Jesse Calderon and Mark Lister, also coached by Elliott, placed third.

Elliott said today’s lawyers must have problem​-solving and settlement advocacy skills to succeed, and only through advocacy competition before expert judges can a student hone, polish, and be critiqued on these skills.

“Our law school is training our students to be global communicators and advocates,” she said. “This is not only about serving the client’s needs; it is really about being an advocate for peace.”

Learn more about the Advocacy Program:

The Advocacy Program at Texas A&M School of Law is a key component of making Aggie law students practice-ready. Directed by Jennifer Ellis ('05), the Advocacy Program consists of three disciplines: appellate advocacy (moot court), trial advocacy (mock trial) and dispute resolution (mediation, negotiation and client counseling).

The Texas A&M Law Moot Court, Mock Trial and Alternative Dispute Resolution teams are nationally recognized. Since the law school’s inception, the program has received 3 international, 11 national, 21 regional and one state championship, 14 best advocate and 13 best brief awards.

- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law