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Liberty News

Liberty Law ranked No. 4 nationally in overall ABA competition

May 24, 2018 : Liberty University News Service

Liberty University School of Law debuted at No. 4 on the inaugural Top Ten Competition Law Schools released by the American Bar Association (ABA).

The list ranked the schools based on their point totals in the ABA Law Student Division’s four practical skills competitions — the Arbitration CompetitionNegotiation CompetitionClient Counseling Competition, and National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC, moot court). (See the full ranking below.)

ABA competitions teach law students real-world legal skills in a simulated practice environment. Judges included volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench. This year, more than 1,300 students from 156 law schools participated in one or more of the competitions sponsored by the Law Student Division.

“This recognition is further evidence of the high-quality legal education Liberty Law students receive,” said B. Keith Faulkner, dean of Liberty’s law school. “Our students come from across the nation and bring a passion for the study of law. Our lawyering skills program is second to none and blends the theoretical with the practical in an effort to produce young lawyers who can make an impact in the profession on Day One.” 

This academic year, Liberty Law’s Moot Court achievements included winning the National Appellate Advocacy Tournament for Religious Freedom (hosted by Notre Dame), qualifying for the National Finals of the ABA NAAC after being declared regional champions in Brooklyn, N.Y., and winning the 33rd Annual Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition, one of the nation’s top moot court tournaments.

“This ABA ranking shows the breadth of the skills program at Liberty,” said Professor of Law Scott Thompson, faculty adviser to Liberty’s Moot Court Board. “This is the result of hard work by several faculty members across four different disciplines. Given the size of our student body, to have earned more points at these four ABA competitions than all but three other schools in the country is truly an amazing feat. Our students work tirelessly; we couldn’t be more thrilled than we are with this recognition of their accomplishments.”

Liberty Law has been competing in moot court since the school was founded in 2004 and has quickly become one of the top programs in the country. Teams pair up and write a brief for a mock case that resembles (and, in some cases, is identical to) a Supreme Court case. They prepare oral arguments for both sides of an issue. Since Liberty sent its first team to the ABA Regionals in 2007, 10 Liberty teams have been declared regional champions and advanced to the national round. Liberty has amassed five regional Best Oralist awards overall.

For arbitration, Liberty was a national semifinalist in the National ABA Finals after taking second place at regionals. Liberty Law was the national champion in 2013.

In client counseling competition, Liberty placed second at regionals.

Liberty’s negotiation team — which has placed in the top 10 in the nation three times and as high as fifth in the world in recent years — finished No. 5 in its regional competition this year.

Top Ten ABA Competition Law Schools

1. Stetson University College of Law

2. Texas Tech University School of Law

3. Drake University Law School

4. Liberty University School of Law

5 (tie). University of Oklahoma College of Law

5 (tie). Michigan State University College of Law

7 (tie). Chapman University School of Law

7 (tie). University of Illinois College of Law

9. Southern Methodist University – Dedman School of Law

10 (tie). South Texas College of Law

10 (tie). Texas A&M University School of Law

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