OU Law Places Fifth in First-Ever ABA Competitions Championship

May 29, 2018 | By Melissa Caperton, Director of Communications
OU Law ABA Competition Teams 2018

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NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma College of Law placed fifth out of 156 law schools nationwide in the American Bar Association’s inaugural Competitions Championship.

The championship results were determined by a points system that recognizes team achievements and participation in the ABA Law Student Division’s four practical skills competitions: Arbitration Competition, Negotiation Competition, Client Counseling Competition and National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC Moot Court).

“We are incredibly proud that our competitions program is again receiving national recognition,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “Our students devote extensive time outside the classroom to build these skills, which will serve them throughout their professional careers. Their dedication, coupled with the unparalleled support from our faculty and alumni, have culminated in our success.”

This year, OU Law won the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, one of the largest law school tournaments in the country with 182 teams participating. In this moot court competition, students participate in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

The OU College of Law is nationally known as a top law school for competitions and moot court. In addition to winning the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, OU Law competition teams won two other national championships in 2018. For the last two years, OU Law has secured a spot in the top 5 law schools in the country for moot court by the Blakeley Advocacy Institute.

OU Law’s latest rankings and honors also include:

  • Top 10 Best Value Law School, National Jurist
  • Top 20 Most Innovative Law Schools in the nation, preLaw Magazine
  • Named an Apple Distinguished School for 2017-2019, Apple Inc.
  • 100 percent bar passage rate on the February 2018 Oklahoma bar exam for first-time exam takers, the highest in the state.

Founded in 1909, the OU College of Law is Oklahoma’s premier law school. OU Law offers small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community; accomplished faculty with international expertise; and a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest technology. The OU College of Law is the academic home of more than 700 students enrolled in the juris doctor program, the John B. Turner Master of Laws Program, the master of legal studies program and various dual degree programs. For more information about OU Law, visit law.ou.edu


More information about OU Law’s participation in the competitions:

ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition

  • OU Law won first place out of 182 teams
  • Team members: Colby Byrd, Jenny Hartsell Puckett and Hanna Roberts. Eleanor Burg, Taylor Ledford and Joya Rutland competed in earlier rounds.
  • Coach: OU Law adjunct professor Michelle Johnson
  • In this moot court competition, students participate in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
  • The competition problem this year concerned the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act to police interactions with residents of a group home.

ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition OU Law Team Members

ABA Arbitration Competition

  • OU Law finished third at regionals and advanced to the national finals
  • Team members: Abbe Adams, Greg Friedman, Ashley Helberg, Ryan McDaniel, Brendon Palmer, Robert Parish, Blaine Timonera and Kanton Vaverka
  • Coaches: OU Law assistant professor Rebekah Taylor and OU Law alumna Micah Cartwright (’16)
  • In this competition, teams prepare and present an arbitration case, including opening statements, witness examinations, exhibit introductions, evidentiary presentations and summations.
  • The case this year involved a dispute over the naming rights of the Tourneau Lakeside Lodge and the Tourneau Spa and Resort.

ABA Arbitration Competition OU Law Team Members

ABA Negotiation Competition

  • OU Law finished sixth at regionals
  • Team members: Darren Barr, Molly Clinkscales, Robin Kirk and Dillon Turner
  • Coach: Connie Smothermon, director of competitions, assistant director and assistant professor of legal research and writing, and director of externships at OU Law
  • This competition simulates legal negotiations. The simulations consist of a common set of facts known by all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side.
  • This year, the teams negotiated the fate of the Department of Defense, a drone with sniff technology and government access to a private data center.

ABA Negotiation Competition OU Law Team Members

ABA Client Counseling Competition

  • Team members: Emilee Crowther, Katlynn Maddux, Scott K. May, Adam Myers, Ashley Ray and Ani Sargsyan
  • Coach: OU Law assistant professor Amy Pepper
  • This competition addresses skills such as interviewing and counseling a client.
  • The topic this year was intentional torts, and teams counseled clients having problems with neighbors, a scam and a death of a child.

ABA Client Counseling Competition OU Law Team Members


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