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Moot Court Program Currently Ranked Eighth in Nation


March 13, 2015

The moot court program at Liberty University School of Law is having unprecedented success this year and currently sits in eighth place in national moot court rankings as compiled by the University of Houston.
 
After competing in just five tournaments, Liberty’s program is ranked ahead of perennial competitors like Texas Tech, St. John’s University, University of Mississippi, Seton Hall and Pepperdine.
 
Professor Scott Thompson, who heads up the school’s Lawyering Skills Program, called his teams’ season thus far “exceptional.”
 
Of the five tournaments they have competed in, Liberty has scored points by Houston’s definition in every one.
 
A first-place finish, two second-place finishes, two best oralist awards, a best brief award and a regional champion finish in the ABA regionals have put Liberty just two points behind seventh-placed George Washington University.
 
The top 16 programs from the 2014-2015 academic year get invited to the Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship at the University of Houston Law Center in 2016.
 
“For our size, the number of teams we’re sending out, it’s a pretty big deal,” Thompson said.
 
The leading program, Florida Coastal School of Law, has competed in 12 tournaments, and has an overall score of 98.5. Currently holding second place is South Texas College of Law, which has scored 67 points in nine competitions. Liberty is currently sitting at number eight after only competing in five tournaments.
 
Teams score points for winning, finishing in the finals, having the best brief or best oralist, or finishing as regional champions or regional finalists.
 
In larger tournaments, teams can also win points for finishing in the semi-finals or quarter-finals.
 
The eighth-place ranking is the highest Liberty has ever attained, though with several tournaments left in the academic year, Thompson said the rankings might still change.
 
He said the rankings are a good tool for measuring current quality of programs.
 
“It’s not based on history. It’s not the best programs for the last 50 years. It’s the teams that objectively scored the most points this year as a result of their excellent written and oral advocacy skills.”
 
Liberty has three more tournaments this year, including the ABA nationals in Chicago in April.