LMU Law Moot Court Teams Succeed in ABA Competition

Bree, 3L receives award

Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law (LMU Law) students traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to compete in the American Bar Association's National Appellate Advocacy Competition (ABA NAAC) earlier this month. 

The ABA NAAC is an elite moot court competition that emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience. Moot court competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The competition involves writing an appellate brief as either respondent or petitioner and then arguing the case in front of the mock panel, enduring rigorous questioning by the judges.

Third-year law students Bree Conner, Nick Lima, Jordan Meddings, as well as second-year law student McKenzie Wilson, competed in the oral advocacy portion of the Boston Regional ABA NAAC. Their teammates, second-year student John Foster and third-year student Shelby Beal, authored the briefs, fulfilling the written advocacy component of this prestigious moot court competition. The two LMU Law teams were two of 31 teams competing in the Boston Regional.

“The importance of moot court cannot be emphasized enough. It allows the students a unique opportunity to hone both persuasive writing and litigation skills, which prepares students for wherever their legal careers may lead,” said Moot Court Coach Professor Amanda Tauber Tonkin. “LMU Law's history of excellence in the ABA's NAAC, which has included advancement to quarterfinal or semifinal rounds every year, multiple top 10 brief placements, and recently two top ten individual oral advocate awards, demonstrates the dedication, determination, and passion of the students which will serve them tremendously in their practice of law.”

LMU Law has a history of success at the ABA NAAC, and this year was no different. Continuing the history of written advocacy success, Beal, writing for the Respondent team, earned a top half brief score. Foster, writing for the Petitioner team, made LMU Law history as the second ever second-year student to compete as a brief writer in the ABA NAAC. Additionally, Wilson, an advocate for the Respondent team, served as the first ever LMU Law second-year student to compete as an oral advocate in this prestigious competition.

During the first two oral advocacy rounds, Conner and Meddings earned high-scoring oralist markings, earning them wins in the oral advocacy portion of two out of the three preliminary rounds. Meddings scored 99 out of 100 on a judging ballot in the first round—a rare accomplishment within the competition. Conner earned a minimum of 90 out of 100 possible points for her oral advocacy skills in each round, finishing within the top 10 and earning LMU Law the top oral advocate award for the second time in program history.

Members of the Respondent team, Beal, Wilson, and Lima, continued the school’s legacy of advancing past the preliminary rounds at the ABA NAAC, earning them the title of Boston 2023 Regional Quarterfinalists.

The Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law is in Knoxville’s Historic Old City Hall Building. LMU Law is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of lawyers to provide sound legal service in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond.

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