No argument:  UHLC advocates celebrate successful year at first annual banquet 

Brandon Schrencengost and Rosemin Badruddin, winners of the Tom Newhouse Mediation Competition, are congratulated by Dean Leonard M. Baynes.

April 29, 2015 – University of Houston Law Center student advocates and those who teach, coach, and support them recently celebrated another successful year of competition as well as the school’s advocacy programs at the First Annual Advocacy Awards Banquet.

“The banquet was an over-the-top success,” said Jim Lawrence, director of the Blakely Advocacy Institute, which co-sponsored the event with The Advocates student organization.“The buzz and excitement in the room was contagious.”

The banquet, held at Tango & Malbec restaurant near the Galleria on April 24, and certain to become an annual tradition, brought together students from the mock trial, moot court, and alternative dispute resolution teams, members of The Advocates, faculty, staff, alumni, practicing attorneys, and jurists.

In welcoming remarks, Dean Leonard M. Baynes stressed the importance of advocacy training in preparing students for a legal career. He also mentioned the positive recognition the school’s competition teams brought to the Law Center this past year for their many successes on the national and international level. 

Jim M. Perdue, Sr. ’63 was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement in Advocacy award.  Since retiring from a highly successful career as a litigator, Perdue has served as an adjunct professor and dedicated supporter of the Blakely Advocacy Institute. He currently teaches a storytelling class that is always in great demand with students.

Lawrence, Amy Hawk, associate director of the Blakely Advocacy Institute, and Pierce Cox, The Advocates executive chair, presented various awards and scholarships to several UHLC students. Ten students were named to the Order of the Barristers for 2014-2015: Davut Atik, Cox, Ashley Ellerin, Courtney Giles, Kathryn Gray, Crystal Henry, Daniel Ray, Randy Roeser, Michael Ryan, and Brandon Schrencengost.

Several outstanding team accomplishments were recognized, including:

  • ADR, a World Championship and Regional Finalist award;
  • Moot Court, two Regional Championships, three Best Speaker awards, and six finalist or semi-finalist finishes; and,
  • Mock Trial, a National Championship, a Best Overall Advocate award, and a semi-finalist finish.

Statistics from the past year underscoring the success of the school’s advocacy programs were also highlighted, including:

  • 420 students enrolled in Blakely Advocacy Institute classes;
  • Three interscholastic competition teams consisting of 129 team members competed in 33 international, national, and regional competitions;
  • 96 student teams, consisting of 192 students, competed in UHLC intramural competitions; and
  • 41 adjuncts and 39 volunteer coaches worked with and mentored the advocacy students and competition teams.

Click here to view program.

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