Moot Court Competition–2016

By: Kaitlyn Tyra

With nearly six months of preparation and almost as many months of anxiety, the SHSU Mooters were ready to compete in the final moot court competition of the season. Hosted at Texas A&M Law School in Fort Worth, 31 teams from across the state and the southern United States competed for spots at the National Competition.

Moot Court, TUMCA, TAMU Law Moot Court Regional, LEAP Center, SHSU

After waking up, we faced a morning of studying and non-stop practicing in anticipation to our afternoon’s competition.

Moot Court, SHSU, LEAP Center, TAMU Moot Court Regional

Once we were given our room assignments, pairings, and rules, each team departed for their first round. The competition consisted of three back-to-back rounds that would determine the day’s rankings according to mastery of material, presentation, response to questions, and courtroom demeanor. Throughout the day, it was slightly intimidating how we would be contending spots against students from such universities as University of North Texas, The Air Force Academy, Texas A&M, and Baylor.

Moot Court, TUMCA, TAMU Law Moot Court Regional, LEAP Center, SHSU

As each round progressed, our nerves slowly diminished and we felt more confident that our studying was paying off. After the third round, we regrouped for a much needed dinner catered by Texas A&M Law School.

Moot Court, TUMCA, TAMU Law Moot Court Regional, LEAP Center, SHSU

As we enjoyed our meal and waited for results, we conversed with a couple Texas A&M Law School students to know more about life in law school. We also shared opinions among ourselves regarding our the day’s competition. Reminiscing on the day’s toils, we reflected on what we could have done better and what we did well.

After what seemed like hours of waiting, the tournament director announced the advancements and speaker awards. Unfortunately, SHSU did not advance to the second day of competition. Regardless, we noticed how each SHSU team had improved from the scrimmage and earned higher scores, with four of the SHSU students finishing in the top half of orators.

The outcome reminded us that sometimes winning or losing is not what matters. What really matters is that we learn and whether we are more prepared for our future careers. For each member, we thought we achieved this goal throughout the season.

Moot Court, TUMCA, TAMU Law Moot Court Regional, LEAP Center, SHSU

We ended the day on a positive note taking our group pictures in the courtroom!

After working hard and competing in the Moot Court Regional Tournament, on Saturday the team set out for sightseeing across Fort Worth. We visited the Amon G. Carter Art Museum, the Fort Worth Water Gardens, and the famous Sundance Square.

The Amon G. Carter Art Museum is a free art museum dedicated to 19th and 20th Century American Art.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Moot Court, Amon Carter Art Museum

Opening its doors in 1961, the businessman and philanthropist Amon Carter’s goal in erecting the museum was to educate Fort Worthians in American Art. With Carter’s personal collection comprising the early galleries of the museum, the establishment has now grown to include a diverse collection of art. From artists such as Fredric Remington to Georgia O’Keefe…

SHSU, LEAP Center, Moot Court, Amon Carter, Georgia O'Keefe

…the museum leads visitors through various decades in American art history. Among the halls was a more contemporary exhibition titled “Border Cantos.” In the exhibit, Photographer Richard Misrach and Composer Guillermo Galindo, depict the US/Mexican border through impactful photographs and music that reflect immigrant life along the borders.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Moot Court, Amon Carter Museum of Art

As the photographs depict a solitary and barren border, visitors felt a deep emotional connection to the people affected everyday by the walls, fences, and wire the divide the American and Mexican territory. This exhibit proved to be the team’s favorite in the end.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Moot Court, Amon Carter Museum of Art

After exploring the museum and learning about American Art, we were excited to move on to our next stop: the Fort Worth Water Gardens.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Moot Court, Fort Worth Water Park

Designed by Philip Johnson, the urban park provides a soothing atmosphere to escape from the mundane city life (and moot court). The park is composed of adjoining water gardens which visitors can explore.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Moot Court, Fort Worth Water Park

True to our millennial drives, we enjoyed taking selfies and pictures of the garden. The Water Garden was an unexpected treat that everyone enjoyed!

Our mini Fort Worth tour sadly ended with lunch at Bird Café in Sundance Square.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Moot Court, Bird Cafe

Revived with the help of Richard Haas’s Chisholm Trail mural, the Square is now the center of shopping and entertainment in downtown Fort Worth.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Moot Court, Sundance Square

In the midst of the cultural hive, The Bird Cafe as a very popular brunch joint, offered many unique dishes. We each tried something different (for different was the only thing the Cafe offered) such as Carne Asada Waffles, an Avocado Omelet, and the Hickory Smoked Chuck Burger. After our delicious platters, we decided to finish our meals with a sweet closing. So being, we chose to visit a nearby chocolate factory!

SHSU, Moot Court, LEAP Center, The Chocalate Factory

The Chocolate Factory was a fun and tasty last stop on our trip. We immensely enjoyed sampling numerous sweet treats. With full stomachs and a nap waiting for us in our van seats, we departed Worth Wort to make our way back to Huntsville.

Many thanks to Texas A&M Law School for hosting the TUMCA Moot Court Competition and to Ms. Loveall for all her hard work and dedication to our teams success!


Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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