Students from BYU Law participated in the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC), a moot court competition described by the American Bar Association as an event that “emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience.”
Claire Bradford (3L), who was part of the team representing BYU Law, was ultimately awarded Best Oralist, one of the top awards of the competition.
“Winning best oralist truly felt like coming full circle. I was extremely reticent to participate as a 1L in moot court, and my teacher had to convince me to try it. I sincerely did not anticipate getting to the finals both my 1L and 2L year, and certainly did not think that I would be best oralist in Portland,” Claire says.
This award—as well as BYU Law’s overall performance in the competition—is no small achievement. The NAAC Regional Moot Court Competition brings together the qualifying moot court teams from around the country to compete. Unlike other moot court competitions, the NAAC Competition requires teams to have first won their school’s moot court competition to be eligible for the national team.
These competitions are focused on what can be accomplished in just a few minutes; unlike trial advocacy, which is an intricate weaving together of testimony and crafting of court rules, appellate advocacy is much shorter and is focused on legal issues.
The top four teams from the NAAC regional competition will continue on to Chicago for the NAAC Final Moot Court Competition. Both BYU Law teams are among that final group.
Ultimately, Claire says, this success was only possible through cooperation and teamwork: “Coming into the competition, our team was in the lower bracket compared to other teams, and we had to work our way to the top. Winning best oralist was also a testament to the power of teamwork, as I know I would not have received that award had it not been for the support and hours of mooting with Karl, Landon, John, Brianna, Morgan, and Professor Gerdy.”