LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas placed second in the Best Brief category at the 2015 Federal Bar Association’s Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition, which was March 26-27 in Washington, D.C. Emily Barclay, third-year law student from Andover, and Gretchen Rix, third-year law student from Fremont, Nebraska, represented KU.
“We improved tremendously throughout the process of preparing for the competition,” Barclay said. “It was rewarding to see our scrupulous editing culminate in an award for our brief.”
The FBA’s moot court competition provides a simulated courtroom experience for aspiring lawyers. This year’s competition centered on two issues: the constitutionality of a police search under the Fourth Amendment and a defendant’s right to present a defense under the Sixth Amendment. Students spent a month researching and writing their brief, then prepared for oral arguments with practice rounds coached by faculty members.
“The writing skills I learned through this process will be beneficial to my future litigation practice,” Rix said. “Our coaches, Alice Craig and Quinton Lucas, as well as many other faculty members, provided invaluable advice.”
“Our goal was that they really understand the law and issues surrounding the case,” said Craig, staff attorney for the Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies. “I think they achieved that and were one of the most knowledgeable teams I saw at the competition.”
The FBA team’s success comes on the heels of the school’s strong showings at three moot court competitions earlier this year. KU students came in second and achieved a Sweet Sixteen finish at the National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition; won top brief and finished in the semifinals of the Transactional LawMeet Regional Competition; and brought home a top-five speaker award at the Jessup International Law Rocky Mountain Regional Competition.
Photo: From left, Gretchen Rix and Emily Barclay.