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Law School News

STCL Houston Students Win Unprecedented 134th National Advocacy Championship; Law School Has Twice as Many Wins as Any Other School in the Country

South Texas College of Law Houston students Kylie Terry and Javier Gonzalez effectively extended the reign of advocacy excellence at Houston’s oldest law school by earning its unrivaled 134th national advocacy championship in February.

STCL Houston has twice as many national advocacy championships as any other law school in the country.

Terry and Gonzalez took first place at the 50th Annual William B. Spong Jr. Memorial Moot Court Competition, sponsored by William & Mary Law School. This year’s virtual, invitational tournament — which expanded to include 50 of the nation’s top advocacy schools from 36 last year — called on students to research and write an appellate brief and defend it before a nine-judge panel in an oral argument.

Chief Justice Roger Gregory of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit presided over the panel of judges, which also included a justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, justices from the Virginia Supreme Court and West Virginia Supreme Court, and five other sitting judges.

Terry and Gonzalez bested advocacy teams from UC Hastings College of the Law, Fordham University School of Law, and Washington University School of Law-St. Louis before winning first place in the final round of competition against students from Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

“The competition was especially fierce this year,” said Gonzalez. “With it being the 50th anniversary of the tournament, every round felt like a final round. The training, practice, and support we received from the school and alumni community really prepared us to rise to the occasion. I could not be more proud of what we accomplished, knowing all the hours Kyle and I put into practice paid off.”

STCL Houston students Alexa Moores and Tyler Allen successfully reached the quarterfinals in this respected moot court competition.

All four South Texas students benefited from coaching by alumnae Courtney Carlson ’08 and Kyrie Cameron ’15, in addition to specialized training from President and Dean Michael F. Barry and constitutional law Professor Josh Blackman.

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.

“It was an honor to argue before so many reputable judges and a privilege to bring home the 134th win for our school,” said Terry. “South Texas Advocacy has prepared us to argue tough issues for clients and has given us the confidence to argue in a real courtroom before even graduating from law school. We would not have made it this far without the support of the Advocacy program, specifically Rob Galloway and our coaches, Kyrie Cameron and Courtney Carlson.”