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Moot Court team places at nationals

February, 2015 — The Drake Law team of Louis Sloven, Erika Bertrand, and Amy Garver fared well at the Moot Court National Finals in New York City. The team won both preliminary rounds along with the round of eights, only to be defeated during the #1 seed (George Washington) during the quarter-finals. In addition, the team’s brief placed 6th out of 30 teams.

November, 2014 — Drake Law sent two National Moot Court teams to compete in the regional rounds of the 65th National Moot Court Competition this past weekend, with one team walking away as regional champions, advancing to the national competition in New York.

The first team consisted of Louie Sloven, Erika Bertrand, and Amy Garver, and the second of Rob Conklin, Clarissa Bierstedt, and Laura McGuire. Sloven, Bertrand, and Garver are the regional champions, defeating a team from the University of Iowa College of Law in the final round.

Sloven was named “Best Oralist” in the final round and his team also received the “Best Brief” award. Overall, Conklin came in as the Top Oral Advocate in the competition with Sloven coming in third.

“I am proud and excited about the exceptional performance of our two Drake Law School teams at this year’s regional rounds of the National Moot Court Competition,” says Laurie Doré, Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor of Law and coach of the national Moot Court teams. “Louie, Erika, and Amy wrote an outstanding brief that deserved best brief honors and they delivered some of the best arguments that I had heard them or others present. It is not surprising that the team remained undefeated throughout the regional rounds.”

The second team of Conklin, Bierstedt, and McGuire was narrowly defeated in the quarter-finals. It is a testament to their amazing advocacy skills that they won every round on the oral arguments.

“Rob, Clarissa, and Laura also gave outstanding arguments, as evidenced by the fact that they won the oral portion of every round that they argued,” says Doré.

The competition allows participants to hone oral advocacy skills in every way possible. Member of both teams spend countless hours in practice arguments in an effort to best prepare for regionals.

“We worked very, very hard on our brief and that gave us a huge advantage going into most of our rounds,” says Sloven. “And we practiced almost every day with Drake professors and local attorneys, and had practice dealing with nearly every conceivable question and responding to nearly every conceivable argument. So it was very difficult for judges or for other teams to catch us off guard.”

The team of Sloven, Bertrand, Garver will now compete in the National Finals in New York City on February 9-12, 2015.

Every year, over 150 law schools compete in the regional rounds throughout the U.S., and the winners advance to the final rounds held at the New York City Bar. This widely–recognized National Moot Court Competition allows law students to hone their appellate advocacy skills by arguing before prominent members of our profession.