Lubbock and the Law

It was great to finally be back in our great state of Texas, and the lure of home was great.  But so, too, was the lure of Texas Tech Law, which several of the LEAP Ambassadors–particularly Karla Rosales–aspire to attend.

Before heading to Texas Tech Law, we made a quick stop by Prairie Dog Town…

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Prairie Dog Town

…where we got to see a lot of cute prairie dogs!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The weather was rainy, but that did not stop us or them from having a great time.

We then headed to our next stop, Texas Tech School of Law. This was particularly the best part for me, as Texas Tech Law is my top-choice law school and it was my first time to be able to visit the school.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech

Even though it was a Sunday morning, we were able to go inside the building and explore. As we walked in, we were welcomed by the West Texas Legal Legends wall where there are plaques for distinguished Texas Tech Alumni. We continued by taking a quick tour of the building…

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech

… and the Mark and Becky Lanier Professional Development Center where the auditorium and the Donald Hunt Courtroom are located.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech

We continued our exploration of Texas Tech and learned that Texas Tech actually has a lot of public art and beauty throughout their campus.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Karla Rosales

We saw a couple of Jesus Moroles sculptures, which are always nice to see as we can make that connection to Huntsville.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Jesus Moroles

We also saw an art piece by one of my favorite artists, Deborah Butterfield. The piece was titled “Water River” and depicts a life-size horse.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Deborah Butterfield

The material used looks just like twisted tree branches, but is actually bronze! Her art is so fascinating to see. Another one of our favorite was called “The Read Reader” also known as “The Bookman,” by Terry Allen…

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech

…which we have learned so much about at the Moody Gallery in Houston.

One of the other artists we have learned about on this trip is Glenna Goodacre, who does representational sculptures, and is from Lubbock, TX.  We had seen her art in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Denver, and, just off Glenna Goodacre Blvd in Lubbock, we were able to see her on Texas Tech’s campus.  In fact, we were able to pose as her figures!

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Glenna Goodacre


It’s always nice to see famous artists around the country and find a local connection. Texas Tech definitely is full of wonderful art pieces all over campus…

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Agave Dreams


…and it is fascinating to see how it enriches the cultural life on campus through diverse public art by many famous artists. ​

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Robert Bruno

And with that last glimpse, we headed back to our home in Huntsville.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech


Moot Court Tournament: Day Two at TTU Law

We knew coming into the tournament that we’d be at TTU Law on Saturday.  What we didn’t know was whether we would be participating.  Late Friday night, after three rounds of competition, we found that one of our teams (Kristyn and James) would, in fact, be competing on Saturday.  They had made a “play in” for the last spot in the “Sweet Sixteen” and their competition was scheduled for 8:00am.

They were scheduled to face a team from TCU, consisting of Luke Erwin and Becca Michelson.  We arrived at about 7:20 that morning, so there was some waiting to do, which we spent preparing for the contest…


We also took this time to teach Alex how to use the camera (a fortuitous time given Alex’s impending trip to Wisconsin next week).


…and she took some good photographs, including this one, which Austin photobombed!


We also spent some time waiting for the opposing team to change and otherwise prepare, so we remained flexible while the judges also waited.


As with all of the contests, the “debate” lasted 40 minutes, with both sides splitting the time for arguments. Kristyn led off for SHSU’s team…

Second_Day_Kristyn_Speaking_3_Web…and James closed…


When the debate was over, the students left the room to await the verdict. A few minutes later it came: With two judges voting in favor of SHSU, the Bearkat team advanced!

This made for an exciting morning, which was amped up further when the students had just a few minutes to get to their next contest.  Their 9:00 am contest was against the number one ranked team from Texas A&M.  Coached by Ph.D. candidate Nick Conway and consisting of competitors Kristina Smith and Lakshmi Achari, the TAMU team had prepared extensively.  It showed.


The Bearkats worked hard and turned in an impressive argument, but the judges opted for the Aggie team.

With this defeat, the SHSU teams were officially out of the race, but there was still much to do.  Tournament officials gave trophies to those participating in the “Sweet Sixteen” and James and Kristyn were presented with theirs.

Kristyn_James_Awards_Auditorium_WebOther competitors also received trophies.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All the SHSU participants then retired to one of the law-school rooms for photos, where they took photos…of Chelsea with her gavel


…Kristyn with her trophy…

Kristyn_Award_2….Chelsea with her coach, Jean Loveall…


…”Sweet Sixteen” participants James and Kristyn….

James_Kristyn_Awards_2_Web…Chelsea, James, and Kristyn…

Chelsea_James_Kristyn_Awards_2_Web…and the entire team!


As it turned out, the Aggie team–which had defeated James and Kristyn–made it to the finals against one of three UTD teams present.  The finals were formal, with the judges entering as everyone rose…


The Tournament Director, Professor Robert Sherwin, served as one of five judges in the final rounds, and Tech students introduced all the judges and made some comments before the final competition.


All the competitors in the final deserved to be there, presenting themselves well.  In the end, TAMU fell just short in a very close contest.  The UTD team, consisting of Alexandra Noll and Blake Eaton and coached by Anne Dutia, had actually been defeated by SHSU in the UNT Scrimmage two weeks ago, but they were better prepared today, and their preparation paid off with the title of tournament champions!

Champs_JudgesThe end of the tournament was a time of photo-taking, with the runner-ups also getting photos with the judges…


…and a group photos of the champions and runner ups…

Winners_Judges_Web…and a variety of combinations of winners, coaches, and judges.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The SHSU students got in the action a bit, speaking with some of the judges and TTU faculty/staff.

Campbell_Tyra_Judges_WebThe end of the competition marked the end of SHSU’s first-ever moot court team’s first competition in the American Moot Court Association’s tournament process. It was a great experience, exposing us to a fine law school, current law students, and some great pre-law undergraduates from across the state of Texas (and beyond)!