Texas Tech made its first NCAA Final Four appearance in basketball this April. By then, Texas Tech University School of Law had already done all it needed to do to win the crown of 2018-2019 ABA Competitions Champion.
The Texas Tech law student teams made the 1,100-mile trip from Lubbock to Chicago twice for the American Bar Association’s Arbitration and Negotiation competitions, braving two of the most frigid weekends on the books for 2019 in the Windy City.
In the Arbitration Competition, the Texas Tech team of John Haugen, Sara Jaeckle, Darrian Matthews, and Johnathan Young made it to the semifinal round of the competition where the topic was personal injury law. But it was Taylor Calvert who took on the final rounds of Negotiation Competition by herself, taking first place with the topic of employment law.
“Texas Tech Law is a school passionately devoted to students and to skills training,” said Jack Wade Nowlin, Dean of Texas Tech University School of Law. “Our advocacy program, under the amazing leadership of Professor Robert Sherwin, succeeds because of the hard work, the talent, and the dedication of our faculty, staff, and students. I am so proud of our community and so pleased to see our program recognized in this way.”
Texas Tech fielded a total of 10 teams across four competitions.
Campbell University – Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, which won the Client Counseling Competition, finished fourth. Baylor Law School won the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC), the ABA’s moot court.
The top 10 schools this year are:
1. Texas Tech University School of Law
2. SMU – Southern Methodist University – Dedman School of Law
3. Liberty University School of Law
4. Campbell University – Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law
5 (tie). Chapman University School of Law
5 (tie). St. Mary’s University School of Law
5 (tie). University of Houston Law Center
8 (tie). Georgetown University Law Center
8 (tie). University of Akron School of Law
10. Texas A&M University School of Law
A total of 1,300 students at 154 law schools participated in this year’s ABA competitions, sponsored by the Law Student Division – Arbitration, Negotiation, Client Counseling, and the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (or as we call that one, NAAC). We looked at how the law schools fared in all four, crunched the numbers, and determined which school did the best overall.
About the rankings
The title of Competitions Champion is awarded to the law school that chalked up the most points through team achievements and participation in the ABA Law Student Division’s four practical skills competitions. Ranking criteria and the point totals for the top teams can be found here.
Why did we create this award? It’s not just because we want ESPN’s College GameDay to start covering our tournaments here and across the country. We wanted to recognize law schools that go above and beyond to help prepare their students for practice. Success in these competitions illustrate each school’s commitment to providing a well-rounded curriculum and preparing students to become highly skilled lawyers. We are proud that the ABA competitions are an important part of the hands-on learning experiences available to students at these exceptional law schools.
“Our four competitions offer students an amazing opportunity to hone essential lawyering skills before they enter practice. Through consistent participation and success in ABA competitions, these law schools display especially well-rounded practical skills training programs. We are thrilled to recognize these schools through the Competitions Championship,” said Connie S. Smothermon, Competitions Committee Co-Chair, Director of Competitions & Externships, University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Judges for the competitions included volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench.
Registration for next year’s battles will be open in June. Get your teams ready, study hard, and practice – you and your school just might be next year’s Competitions Champion.
The inaugural winner of the competition was Stetson Law.