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News from Texas Tech University School of Law

More Advocacy Awards in Final Week of National Competitions

April 2015

ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition finalists Kristen Vander-Plas (’16) and C.J. Baker (’16).

Texas Tech Law became the second law school in history to make a third-consecutive national-championship-round appearance at the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition in Chicago earlier this month. After an undefeated stint at the regional tournament in Seattle, a trio of 2Ls—C.J. Baker, Blair Park, and Kristen Vander-Plas—went toe-to-toe with 23 other regional champions but ultimately lost to Michigan State in the championship round.

Vander-Plas claimed the prestigious National Best Advocate award, and Baker was named the nation’s seventh-best advocate overall.

The team was coached by Professor Rob Sherwin (’01), Mullin, Hoard & Brown partner Larry Doss (’99), and Craig, Terrill, Hale & Grantham associate Elizabeth Hill (’12).

Voir Dire

Pictured [left to right]: SaraNeil Stribling (’16), Samantha Jarvis (’16), Will Echols (’15), Bianca Rodriguez (’16), Laney Crocker (’15), and Caleb Miller (’15).

That same weekend, two Texas Tech Law voir dire teams advanced to the semifinal rounds in the Show Me Challenge National Voir Dire Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. After defeating Stetson Law in the semifinals, 3L Will Echols and 2Ls Samantha Jarvis and SaraNeil Stribling advanced to the national championship round. The other voir dire team, comprised of 3Ls Laney Crocker and Caleb Miller and 2L Bianca Rodriguez, was narrowly defeated in the semifinal round by the University of Texas. Stribling was recognized with the competition’s Best Opening Statement award.

The voir dire teams were coached by Professor Dick Baker and Dallas practitioner Carmen Mitchell (‘82), with help in the practice rounds from Professors John Watts and Dustin Benham, Judge Les Hatch (’88), Dallas practitioner Rocky Crocker (’81), and Sherman practitioner Robert Jarvis.


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