|Pictured here: Iowa Court of Appeals Judges Mary Tabor, Richard Doyle, Anuradha Vaitheswaran, Christopher McDonald, and the four finalists with a portrait of the late Allen (Barney) L. Donielson, one of the founding judges of the Court in 1976.|
Students at Drake Law School argued before the Iowa Court of Appeals judges this week as part of the C. Edwin Moore Competition put on by the Drake Moot Court Board.
The C. Edwin Moore Moot Court Competition is offered to first year students and is a voluntary competition that takes place within the first two months of the first-year curriculum. This competition is aimed at challenging the students’ organization and presentation skills through an oral advocacy competition. Further, this provides an opportunity for students to gauge their interest in oral advocacy and is an excellent source of information for the Moot Court Board and those involved in the selection process for the skills teams at Drake Law School.
All first year students are invited to participate in the competition, with the top students advancing first to the semifinal round and then on to the final round, held Oct. 22, 2014. This year’s finalists were James Duff, Gatsby Solheim, Lucas Sterbick, and Alexis Warner, with James Duff chosen as the C. Edwin Moore winner.
For Drake, selection for the various moot court and mock trial teams are partially based on performance during oral arguments.
“The opportunity for first year students to participate in oral arguments so early in their law school career and to have the chance to argue in front of the Court of Appeals is invaluable,” says Abigail Thiel, president of the Moot Court Board, and organizer of this year’s event. “Strong performances like the ones given Wednesday evening bode well for the coming Moot Court and Mock Trial seasons and continuing Drake’s strong legacy in these competitions.”
There are several reason students participate in arguments. For one, it allows them to gain confidence in public speaking. It offers them a chance to learn how to talk about the law. But perhaps the top reason is that students who participate have the chance to network within the legal community starting in their first year. Moot court and mock trial teams will be chosen later this spring.
Current skills teams are gearing up for their regional competitions, the first taking place October 31-Nov 2 as the Negotiations team heads to Saskatoon, Canada.
The C. Edwin Moore Competition is just one aspect of Drake’s focus on practical experience. Students learn lawyering skills from their first day in law school and competitions like this encourage them to hone their skills starting very early in their careers.