South Texas College of Law Houston Wins Unprecedented 123rd National Advocacy Championship
South Texas College of Law Houston students Brad Eric Franklin, Hayley Hervieux, and Chase Newsom recently won the school’s 123rd national advocacy championship. No other law school in the United States has won half as many. South Texas is one of only three national law schools consistently ranked in the top 10 for trial advocacy by U.S. News & World Report.
“Advocacy is addictive,” said T. Gerald Treece, vice president, associate dean, and director of the Advocacy Program at South Texas College of Law Houston for nearly 40 years. “I never tire of seeing talented students realize their potential in moot court activities. It’s like turning on voltage to a neon light. When a student has the magic, suddenly everything comes alive in a courtroom. The people who are meant for the courtroom are not meant for anything else. They’re never going to be happy unless they’re in the battle.”
Former South Texas advocate (’98) Tony Taft of The Taft Law Firm said, “To me the genius of the Advocacy Program is how Coach Treece has trained his advocates so well, and then, he has encouraged those advocates to coach subsequent teams. The beauty of the program is it’s going to be self-sustaining even after Coach retires, because he’s always encouraged those who have gone through the program to come back and help.”
Many former advocates of the law school heavily invest their time in coaching students on a one-on-one basis and serving as practice judges prior to competitions. “Advocacy is a team sport at South Texas College of Law Houston,” said Treece. “Many universities take great pride in their sports teams. We take that kind of pride in going out and doing so well in advocacy tournaments across the country.”
In addition to Treece, other administrators of South Texas’ Advocacy Program include Associate Director Rob Galloway, Manager Shaun Devine, and Coordinator Hayley Stenhouse.
“Serving as a member of the school’s 123rd national advocacy championship team is an unforgettable honor,” said Franklin. “I became a South Texas advocate to really hone my skills so that, as an attorney, I can represent my client’s best interests by holding my own against any opposing counsel and in front of any judge. Ultimately, advocacy is about learning how to argue law, think on your feet, and ask for help when you need it. This program has taught me how to answer the hard, unpredictable questions, drawing from my knowledge of case law, the many hours of practice, and the invaluable feedback from my teammates and coaches.”