Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Moot Court Team Reaches Final Round of National Competition for Seventh Year in a Row.
LC’s Environmental Moot Court team, which consisted of third-year students Andy Erickson, Maggie Hall, and Meredith Price, took second place at this year’s national competition at Pace Law school in New York, but according to their coach, Professor Craig Johnston, that doesn’t begin to tell the story. “They were incredible all the way through the competition. In the finals, Vermont was declared the winner, but that was only after the judges were told that they could not declare co-champions, which is what they wanted to do. In total, their deliberations took 25 minutes, which we were told was a new record. In the end, they described the difference as being infinitesimal.” Many LC moot court fans were able to watch the final round online and were very impressed and proud of the entire team.
En route to the finals, the LC team triumphed over, among others, U.C. Hastings, B.C., NYU, and Georgetown. This marks the seventh straight year that LC has made the finals at Pace, which is remarkable given that only three out of the 72 to 75 schools that participate advance to that stage. LC’s team has won three times in those seven years –and seven titles overall - but Johnston believes that the fact that LC has made seven straight finals is perhaps the program’s most remarkable achievement of all. “By the time we get to the quarters and semis, all the teams are pretty good and some are great, and only one team – out of the three in each round – advances from each room. Moreover, those are the rounds with the best-informed judges, as Pace draws upon extremely experienced practitioners for those two rounds. The fact that we are undefeated in our last 14 quarter- and semi-final round appearances speaks volumes about both the talent of our students and the unbelievable help that we get from all of those who help the students prepare.”
Professor Johnston went on to thank the many people who helped prepare the team through thirty-two practice rounds, starting with his co-coaches Allison LaPlante and Dan Mensher. Beyond that, though, the team received significant judging help from faculty members Susan Mandiberg, Mike Blumm, Jim Oleske, Nick Fromherz, Bill Funk, Melissa Powers, Kathy Hessler, Lydia Loren, John Parry, Judith Miller, Janet Steverson, Aliza Kaplan, Dan Rohlf, Paula Abrams, and Steve Johansen, from moot court alums Marla Nelson, John Krallman, Daniel Timmons, Julie Weis, and Paul Conable, and from Perkins Coie friends David Bledsoe and Stephen Feldman. Thanks to all who helped this amazing team reach the national finals yet again.