LU makes school history at the American Moot Court Association National Tournament

For the first time in LU history a moot court team advanced to the elimination rounds of the national tournament, Jan. 22-24 and a member of the team ranked one of the best overall speakers.

In the fall, the moot court team of Katey McCall and Ali Hamza placed as semi-finalists at the Texas Tech
McCall and Hamza
Katey McCall, Ali Hamza
University School of Law Regional tournament and secured a bid to the American Moot Court Association National Oral Advocacy Tournament. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all students competed using the Zoom platform.

Moot court competitions involve two student advocates arguing constitutional issues before a mock Supreme Court. Based on preliminary round showings, teams advance to elimination rounds. Students are evaluated on their knowledge of the facts of the case, the case law, presentation skills and court room demeanor. Based on their individual scores, student advocates also receive individual speaker awards.

At the national event, still via Zoom, the team went 2-to-1 in preliminary rounds and were ranked 30th out of 100 teams in the tournament. As a result, McCall, a senior political science major and legal studies minor, and Hamza, a junior political science major/legal studies minor advanced to the elimination rounds where they were narrowly defeated, 2 to 1, by a team from University of Chicago.

Students who averaged at least 375 points per round, out of a possible score of 400, were recognized as top orators, and the top 28 orators were recognized. Hamza ranked 8th best overall speaker of the national tournament, which marks the first time that a Lamar University student has received a speaker award at the national tournament.

Both McCall and Hamza are enrolled in the Reaud Honors College at Lamar University. McCall will graduate this May and begin law school at Texas Tech University School of Law. Hamza has one more year to participate in LU’s moot court program before graduating. He also plans to attend law school.

“Regardless of the outcome in the national tournament, this marked the first time that a Lamar University team advanced to the elimination rounds of the national tournament,” said “Craig Tahaney, instructor, political science and moot court advisor. Overall, Lamar University had an incredible season despite unprecedented circumstances caused by the pandemic. In total, LU students received a total of 16 individual and team awards this season.”