The team from the School of Law will compete in the national championships in January in Houston.
The moot court program at Texas Tech University's School of Law finished the 2015-16 season ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to rankings compiled by the University of Houston Law School's Blakely Advocacy Institute.
By virtue of its No. 1 ranking, the Texas Tech moot court team will enter the 2017 National Championship competition in January as the top team, garnering 119.5 points on a scale that ranks results from various competitions, some weighed as more prestigious than others and thus awarding teams more points for their results.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Robert Sherwin, assistant professor in the Texas Tech School of Law and director of advocacy programs. “We came close in 2010 when we were third and in 2011 when we were second. And, of course, we're one of only three schools in the country to be in the top 10 every year since 2010. But to finally finish in that top slot, that's very satisfying because it proves what we've known for a long time, that we're the best.”
The top 16 teams in the rankings will advance to the national championships in Houston next year. Other ranked schools in the state include Southern Methodist University (tied for fifth), South Texas College of Law (tied for seventh) and Baylor University (13th) as well as the University of Oklahoma (14th).
According to Sherwin, the rankings divide various competitions into four tiers, with Tier 1 competitions worth more than Tier 2, Tier 2 worth more than Tier 3 and so on. He said the bigger and more competitive tournaments feature tougher teams, which makes those tournaments worth more points than smaller, less prestigious ones.
“What I'm most proud of is how many different students and coaches contributed to this No. 1 ranking,” Sherwin said. “It wasn't just one team or one coach. We had 23 different students and seven different coaches who were on teams that earned points toward the ranking. That really shows the depth and overall strength of our program.”
Sherwin said the team from the Texas Tech School of Law earned points from competitions in all four tiers.
“I want to personally thank professor Sherwin and all of the students, coaches and practice-round judges who contributed to this success,” Dean Darby Dickerson said. “I know the quality of schools we've competed against – they are well prepared and fierce, which makes this ranking truly special.”
The Stetson University School of Law and the Chicago-Kent College of Law finished a distant second behind Texas Tech with 88 points. Georgetown University ranked fourth with 87 points.
Texas Tech finished the year with five national championships, five regional championships, eight national finals, five semifinals, three quarterfinals and 13 individual best brief and oralist awards.