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Law School News

STCL Houston Extends Reign of Advocacy Excellence, Earning Its Unrivaled 135th National Advocacy Championship

South Texas College of Law Houston students Juanita Deaver and Reid Carrillo recently took first place at the 13th Annual National Latino(a) Law Student Association Moot Court Competition, earning the school’s unrivaled 135th national advocacy championship.

Deaver and Carrillo also won the Best Respondent Brief at the virtual competition.

The students’ success at the tournament marks the second national advocacy championship earned by STCL Houston in the past month alone. South Texas Law has won twice as many national advocacy championships as any other law school in the country.

“It was such an honor to represent South Texas at this tournament,” said Carrillo. “I was fortunate to have had such a hardworking teammate and excellent coach. I look forward to giving back to the Advocacy program in the future.”

A panel of expert judges — including judge advocate generals, sitting state and federal judges, and criminal and civil practitioners and appellate attorneys — judged various rounds of this moot court competition.

Carrillo and Deaver bested advocacy teams from nine other law schools before winning first place in the final round of competition against students from Vermont Law School.

Prior to the tournament, the students benefited from expert coaching by STCL Houston alumna Valery Piedra ’19, an associate in the Houston office of Jackson Walker.

“It was an honor and privilege to represent South Texas as an advocate,” said Deaver. “Since I began law school, I had dreamed of being a part of the best Advocacy team in the nation. I have been blessed both with an amazing and supportive partner, as well as a fantastic coach. Reid and I most certainly owe our championship to Valery and her guidance.”

South Texas College of Law Houston is one of only three law schools in the country consistently ranked in the Top 10 for trial advocacy by U.S. News & World Report. In 2019, the University of Houston Law Center’s Blakely Advocacy Institute ranked STCL Houston’s Advocacy program No. 1 in the nation. Additionally, prelaw Magazine recognized STCL Houston as having the “Best Moot Court of This Decade” in 2016; and South Texas students have won the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Championship 15 times, more than any other law school in the United States.