OU Law Students Win National Moot Court Competition

February 6, 2018 | By Melissa Caperton, Director of Communications
Ty Schoenhals, Connor Bourland and Kellie Laughlin

Media Contact: 
Melissa Caperton
(405) 325-2227

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma College of Law won first place in the 2018 Andrews Kurth Kenyon Moot Court National Championship, a tournament reserved for the nation’s top 16 moot court programs.

The OU team of third-year law students Connor Bourland, Kellie Laughlin and Ty Schoenhals was undefeated in the tournament, which was held Jan. 25-27 in Houston. The team also won the award for second best brief in the competition. They were coached by Connie Smothermon, director of competitions, assistant director and assistant professor of legal research and writing, and director of externships at the OU College of Law; and OU Law alumna Lindsay Kistler (’16).

“We are incredibly proud of this remarkable achievement, as it is evidence of the phenomenal success of our moot court program,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “At OU Law, we are dedicated to providing our students with a world-class legal education, and part of that includes exposure to moot court competitions. Our students’ tenacity and drive to succeed is inspiring, and the faculty and alumni support we have for our competitions program is outstanding. We are particularly indebted to our Director of Competitions, Professor Connie Smothermon, whose tireless investment in our students has led to our extraordinary success.”

OU Law professor Connie Smothermon, Ty Schoenhals, Connor Bourland, Kellie Laughlin and OU Law alumna Lindsay Kistler

Other competitors in the tournament included teams from Georgetown University Law Center, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Baylor Law School, SMU Dedmon School of Law and South Texas College of Law Houston.

OU Law is ranked the No. 2 Moot Court Program in the Nation in the Blakeley Advocacy Institute’s annual rankings, a position that earned OU a spot in the Kurth tournament. For the last five years, OU Law has been ranked in the top 20 schools in the country for moot court.

So far this academic year, 34 OU Law students have participated on 14 teams traveling across the country.

In addition to its moot court recognitions, OU Law has been named a Top 10 Best Value Law School (National Jurist); is one of the Top 20 Most Innovative Law Schools in the nation (preLaw Magazine); and was recently recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2017-2019. Additionally, OU Law graduates achieved a 95 percent pass rate on the most recent 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.

The OU Law Kurth Tournament team of Ty Schoenhals, Connor Bourland and Kellie Laughlin with OU College of Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr.


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