Akron Law Advances to National Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition


The University of Akron School of Law’s winning tradition in advocacy law continued this past weekend in St. Louis with a strong performance from Akron Law’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) chapter. Team members Eric Foster and Terence Baptiste, both third-year law students, captured a third-place finish at the Midwest Regional Competition of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition allowing the team to qualify to compete at the national level during the National BLSA Convention in Atlanta, Ga. from March 6 – 10. The team was coached by Rick Strong and Elizabeth Shaver, both assistant professors of legal writing and research at Akron Law.

“Eric and Terence performed admirably during the competition, refining and improving their performance with every round,” said Professor Elizabeth Shaver. “Most importantly, they conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. They were outstanding representatives of Akron Law.”

In addition, the Akron Law BLSA chapter was honored as the Midwest Black Law Student Association's Small Chapter of the Year and will also compete for the title at the national level in Atlanta. This year's BLSA officers are Terence Baptiste (President), Lavell Payne (Vice President), Samantha Hardin (Attorney General), and Lauren Simmons (Corresponding Secretary).

Since its inception in 1975, the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition (FDMCC) seeks to provide national BLSA members the opportunity to hone their appellate advocacy skills. Each year, between 100 and 125 teams compete across the nation within the six Regional Competitions, culminating in the top three teams from each region competing at the national level during NBLSA's Annual Convention. The competition provides competitors with the opportunity to argue issues that are at the forefront of debate in the legal profession. This year marks the 38th anniversary of this competition and this year’s theme is "Living the Dream: Developing Excellence in Advocacy and Fostering Progress in Society."

About Advocacy Law at The University of Akron School of Law

In the last 25 years Akron Law trial teams have been champions or Co-champions in the 41 district tournaments sponsored by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) or Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition (ABA/NTC). At the national level, they have placed second four times in the ATLA or NTC Tournaments, were national quarterfinalists eight times, national semifinalists twice, and national champions in the 2004 ATLA Tournament. Akron Law’s moot court teams have also achieved numerous successes. Akron Law won the National Moot Court Competition in Child Welfare and Adoption Law in 2010 and fielded the best oralist in the competition. Also in 2010, the Giles Sutherland Rich Team was the regional runner-up and won the regional award for best brief. Many other moot court teams have won awards for their oral and briefing skills, and have advanced to the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of prestigious competitions.

About The University of Akron School of Law

The University of Akron School of Law promotes justice, the protection of individual liberty and the rule of law through commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The law school features renowned programs in intellectual property, professional responsibility and trial advocacy, and is home to one of four Constitutional Law Centers in the United States, established by the U.S. Congress in 1986. To learn more, visit www.uakron.edu/law