Professor Emeritus and coach John Sobieski with students Erin Phillips, Spenser Powell, and Alex Thomason

UT Law reaches semi-final rounds in 67th Annual National Moot Court Competition

The University of Tennessee College of Law’s National Moot Court team fought its way to the semi-final rounds of the 67th Annual National Moot Court Competition in New York City, placing 3rd overall, an impressive victory among the 165 teams.

The 2016 UT team, made up of Erin Phillips (‘18), Spenser Powell (‘17), and Alex Thomason (‘17) was coached by Professor Emeritus John Sobieski and Professor Emeritus Joseph Cook. The team’s brief was ranked 4th in the nation. In the semi-final round, the UT team won the oral argument, but lost the round to Wake Forest, who had the best brief in the competition. 

In the two preliminary rounds, UT defeated Boston College, winner of the region 1 competition, and the University of Pennsylvania, winner of the region 3 competition.  As a result of those two wins, the team not only qualified for the round of 16 but also was the top-seeded team.

Tennessee defeated Vermont Law School in the octo-final round, and went on to beat McGeorge School of Law, winner of the region 12 competition, in the quarter-final round.

Wake Forest proved to be a worthy opponent in the semifinal round, however, having produced the highest ranked brief. While Tennessee won the oral argument, the team lost the round when the brief score was added to the oral argument score.  Wake Forest went on to win the championship round and its team members were voted the best and runner-up best oralist in that round.

The National Moot Court Competition took place January 30 through February 2 in New York City. The competition is co-sponsored by the New York City Bar Association’s National Moot Court Competition Committee and the American College of Trial Lawyers.