The OU College of Law's Moot Court Program has been ranked second in the nation, 12 spots higher than last year and the highest ranking in the university’s history.
The ranking, assigned by the University of Houston’s Blakely Advocacy Institute, also qualifies the program for the 2018 Kurth Tournament of Champions, which is reserved for the top 16 schools in the nation to compete for the Moot Court National Championship, according to a press release.
“We were thrilled to learn of this year’s Blakely Advocacy Institute’s ranking,” Joseph Harroz Jr., OU College of Law dean, said in the release. “At OU Law, we are committed to providing our students with a world-class legal education, and part of that includes exposing them to Moot Court competitions. Our students’ tenacity and drive to succeed is inspiring, and the faculty and alumni support we have for our competitions program is outstanding.”
In Moot Court competitions, team members “hone their appellate advocacy skills” by examining and arguing both sides of a legal issue, according to The University of Houston’s Law Center website. Ninety-eight OU law students made up 34 teams that traveled across the country competing in Moot Court contests this year, according to the release.
Ranking well requires a combination of students' hard work, faculty and alumni involvement, and a little bit of luck, said professor Connie Smothermon, director of competitions.
"Our program is not based on just working to win," Smothermon said. "We work to build these skills and set the foundation of good research writing and oral advocacy skills, and the consequence of that is success, and we've just had a lot of success this year."
Smothermon said she is extremely proud of her students and how hard they work in addition to keeping up with their schoolwork.
This is the fifth consecutive year that the OU College of Law has been in the top 20 schools in the nation, according to the release. The college also holds the highest U.S. News and World Report ranking ever achieved by an Oklahoma law school, according to the release.
This article was updated at 4:45 p.m. to include comment from Smothermon.