April 10, 2020
law students win moot court competition

UNT Dallas College of Law might be the youngest law education program in America but it certainly shook up the landscape of established titans during the Oklahoma City Regional Moot Court Competitions. 

In the past six months, three UNT Dallas Advocacy teams have qualified for National contests in the Mock Trial, Moot Court and Tax Law categories. 

During the Spring 2020 semester, the team of Jerica Steward, Kamran Anwar and Hamza Ahmed brought home the gold. 

After winning first place at the ABA Moot Court Regionals, they soared to a third-place finish for their written Brief.  Anwar also earned a Top Ten ranking (#7) for Best Advocate. 

The team of Arielle Comer, Demetrius Lee, and Maythe Tellez broke out of the tough preliminary rounds.  They reached the Sweet 16 grouping and faced a herd of talented teams before failing to make the finals.     

In the current academic year, the UNT Dallas law students have participated in stiff competitions, delivered solid performances and marched away with first-place finishes each time. 

Recent accomplishments at the regional level strongly suggest their teams are suitably matched against peers from larger and more expensive programs.    

In the midst of unusual circumstances, while adjusting to the new normal brought on by the COVID19 pandemic, UNT Dallas Law Communications wrangled an interview with Nicole Williams and Johannes Walker, two outstanding coaches for the Moot Court Regional Champs. 

Preparing for such amazing opponents presented a few hurdles.  “Finding the time for the students to practice, with all of their other commitments, and meeting the schedules of our practice judges was difficult,” said Williams.  

“There was never enough time in the day!  But each of our teams was able to have approximately 6 hours of practice each week, with coaches and judges.  They spent significantly more time each week working on their presentations with each other.”

Going in, coaches felt very good about their chances to perform well. 

“We were excited about our more experienced team (Anwar, Steward, and Ahmed) and their chances of becoming a regional champion because this was their second time at the ABA competition.  They came very close last year, making it to the final 16 teams,” said Walker.

“We also thought our other team (Comer, Lee, and Tellez) who was taking their first trip to ABA was very well prepared, and we were excited to see them making the final 16 teams this year,” Walker added.  “Hopefully it’s a sign of great things to come for next year!”

There were no surprises in how well the rounds of Moot Court activities were supervised.  The regionals were very well-run, with plenty of judges, and excellent courtroom set-ups. 

After a huge win over tough regional opposition, the Dallas team had its sights set on winning Nationals. 

“The team was very excited to proceed to Nationals, and it was not going to be hard to get them to focus on winning - which was definitely within their reach!  Unfortunately, the national competition was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.  But the team will always have their Regional Championship and Brief Award.”

UNT Dallas College of Law has established itself as a presence in the Texas Young Lawyers Association and ABA Trial Advocacy Competitions. 

After qualifying for three national contests, that have all been cancelled, there are high expectations to return next year, true to form and as champions.