Mackenzie A. Dilbeck
NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma College of Law jumped 12 spots in the latest Blakely Advocacy Institute’s annual ranking of Moot Court Programs to No. 2 in the nation. This marks the fifth consecutive year the OU College of Law has been ranked in the top 20 schools in the country, with this year’s ranking representing the college’s highest placement in school history.
“We were thrilled to learn of this year’s Blakely Advocacy Institute’s ranking,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “At OU Law, we are committed to providing our students with a world-class legal education, and part of that includes exposing them to moot court competitions. Our students’ tenacity and drive to succeed is inspiring, and the faculty and alumni support we have for our competitions program is outstanding. We are particularly indebted to our Director of Competitions, Professor Connie Smothermon. We are incredibly proud of everyone’s efforts and grateful to have such strong representatives of OU Law.”
The No. 2 ranking qualifies the OU College of Law for the 2018 Kurth Tournament of Champions, which is reserved for the top 16 schools in the country to compete for the Moot Court National Championship. This year, 98 OU Law students participated on 34 teams traveling across the country. The college was also named a Top 20 Best Moot Court School of the Decade by National Jurist magazine.
In addition to its moot court recognitions, OU Law holds the highest ranking ever achieved by an Oklahoma law school (U.S. News & World Report); is an eight-time Best Value Law School (National Jurist); and is No. 18 in the nation for first-time bar passage (U.S. News Academic Insights).
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OU Law Conversations: Dean Emeritus Andrew Coats
What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.
OU Law Conversations: Robert Barnes
What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.