Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

College of Law News

Willamette Law student wins “Best Advocate” prize at moot-court competition

Third-year law student Kelly Huedepohl received a “Best Advocate” prize at the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition last week.

Attorney Judy Parker JD’06 coached Huedepohl and her Willamette University teammates. The competition emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a simulated advocacy experience.  Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court;  in this case, the issue involved a qualified immunity defense in a Tort Claim Act. Competitors write briefs and then argue the case in front of the mock court.

In addition to Huedepohl, team members included Blaine Denton, Maggie George, Megan Cox, Taylor Anderson and AJ Wahl.

“I feel great,” Parker said about Huedpohl’s win. “It’s really reflective of how a small school like Willamette can rise to the top.”

The competition, which took place in San Francisco, included students from UC Berkeley School of Law; UC Hastings College of the Law; UCLA School of Law; and the University of Texas School of Law, among other institutions.

Distinguished jurists-in-residence coach students in mock trial competition 

Distinguished Jurists-in-Residence Paul De Muniz JD’75 and Edwin Peterson, both former Chief Justices of the Oregon Supreme Court, recently served as coaches to a high school team that competed in a mock trial contest last week.

The team of Latino youths came from North Salem, McKay, McNary and West Salem high schools. They practiced every Wednesday in Willamette’s law library, memorizing testimony and learning about cross-examination and the importance of body language during a trial.

Although the team didn’t win the contest, De Muniz called them “exceptional. I would also say courageous.” At least two team members weren’t native English speakers, he said.

De Muniz said for next year’s contest he wants to hold a summer camp to give the students more intensive training, invite a drama teacher to help coach and to get more lawyers involved.