A moot court team from the St. Mary’s University School of Law’s External Advocacy Program won the regional championship on Saturday in a highly competitive regional qualifier for the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition.
The team of third-year law student Stephanie De Sola, third-year law student Leah Wise and second-year law student William Calve, coached by Ricky Poole, competed against 30 teams from law schools across the country and swept the judges’ ballots to defeat the University of Kansas in the final round.
The win marked St. Mary’s Law’s eighth ABA NAAC Regional Championship in the past 15 years, and qualifies De Sola, Wise and Calve for the national finals in Chicago in April.
A second St. Mary’s Law team of second-year Moraya Baker, second-year Gary Hillier and second-year Vanessa Cantu made it to the semifinals. Cantu was recognized as having the fourth-best brief out of the 30 teams, and Hillier was named sixth-best speaker out of more than 60 participating students.
St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.