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Texas Tech University School of Law named 2019-2020 ABA Competitions Champion

Competitions Champions
Texas Tech University School of Law placed two teams in the top four in this year's Arbitration Competition in January. From left: The national semifinalists team of Sara Jaeckle, Chloe Shrode, Michaela Kee, and Jessica Aycock; and the champions team of Patricia Cabrera-Sopo, Michael Samaniego, Emily Fouts, and Drake Pamilton.

The American Bar Association has named Texas Tech University School of Law the 2019-2020 ABA Competitions Champion for the second year in a row. Congratulations Texas Tech University School of Law!

The Competitions Champion is won by the school who earns the most points from competing in all four ABA Law Student Division competitions combined. This means that teams had to do well in the Arbitration Competition, Negotiation Competition, Client Counseling Competition, and National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC Moot Court). Ranking criteria and the point totals for the top teams can be found here.

“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.

Tech fielded ten teams across four competitions and advanced to the National finals in the Client Counseling and Arbitration Competitions. The Arbitration National Finals were held at the ABA Headquarters in Chicago, and these Texas Competitors endured near negative temperatures and braved the windy city to achieve the Championship title. Patricia Cabrera-Sopo, Emily Fouts, Michael Samaniego, Drake Pamilton took the National Championship title at the Arbitration National Finals on January 25, 2020. This year’s topic was Wage and Employment Law.

Texas Tech’s Client Counseling team, Jodee Rankin and Alesha Walker, also won the Client Counseling Regional Competition. The 2019-2020 topic was Estate Planning.

And Texas Tech’s moot court team of Sara Baumgardner, Patrick LeMasters, and Kaitlyn Schiraldi won the NAAC Regional Competition. The 2019-2020 topic was Criminal Due Process

“Texas Tech Law is a school passionately devoted to students and to skills training. 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.” added Jack Wade Nowlin, Dean of Texas Tech University School of Law.

ABA competitions teach law students real-world legal skills in a simulated practice environment. Judges for the competitions included volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench.  This year, over 1,300 students from 180 law schools participated in one or more of the competitions sponsored by the Law Student Division. 

Top Ten ABA Competition Law Schools by Points

1. Texas Tech University School of Law
2. Stetson University College of Law
3. University of Oklahoma College of Law
4. St. Mary’s University School of Law
5. (tie) Northwestern University School of Law
5. (tie) Ohio State University – Moritz College of Law
7. (tie) Drake University Law School
7. (tie) McGeorge School of Law
9. (tie) Liberty University School of Law
9. (tie) SMU – Southern Methodist University – Dedman School of Law

ABA Law Student Division The Law Student Division empowers law student by providing them with meaningful connections to practicing professionals, job resources, relevant programming, and practical skills competitions. We represent the law student community by advocating for policies that improve legal education, champion diversity, and strengthen public service.