Stetson College of Law named 2021 ABA Competitions Champion

Exterior of Stetson College of Law

Logo for 2021 ABA Competitions Champion for College of Law

Stetson University College of Law was named the 2021 American Bar Association Competitions Champion. The award is given to the law school that earned the most points through team achievements and participation in the ABA Law Student Division’s four competitions – ArbitrationNegotiationClient Counseling and the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC).

Brooke Bowman
Brooke Bowman

“We are incredibly proud not just of the fact that Stetson has won, but how we won,” said Brooke Bowman, professor of law and director of Moot Court Board. “Not only was this victory a true Moot Court-Dispute Resolution collaboration, but every single one of Stetson’s eligible teams contributed points toward this victory, from our Arbitration and Negotiation teams in the fall semester to our National Appellate Advocacy and Client Counseling teams in the spring.”

Stetson Law won the inaugural ABA Competitions Champion honors in 2018, the first year the ABA started tracking law schools’ performance in the four practical skills competitions. This year Stetson broke Texas Tech University School of Law’s two-year reign to regain the crown.

Stetson may not have placed first in any of the four competitions this year, but the teams’ overall showing garnered them enough points to hold off Texas Tech. Stetson made it to the finals of the Client Counseling Competition, having won the regionals. Stetson scored two regional championships in both the Arbitration and NAAC competitions, and notched a regional semifinalist in Negotiation.

Professor Kristen Adams
Kristen Adams

“This win belongs not just to the Moot Court and Dispute Resolution Board members who competed in each of these competitions (and their coaches), but also to every single student who stepped in to help – whether it was by providing excellent feedback during a practice, scrimmaging with the team, or providing support and encouragement to a teammate,” said Kristen Adams, professor of law and director of Dispute Resolution Board.

On the Dispute Resolution front, Stetson’s Arbitration team contributed four regional semifinalists; the Negotiation team contributed four regional co-champions who advanced to Nationals; and the Client Counseling team contributed four regional semifinalists, two regional champions, and two national semifinalists.  On the Moot Court front, in a Stetson Moot Court first, the College of Law had co-champions advancing to Nationals and one of the teams also won the regional Best Brief Award.

“What this award really symbolizes is consistency and teamwork, which are attributes Stetson greatly values in its advocates,” Bowman said.

The 2021 ABA Competitions top 10 this year were:

  1. Stetson University College of Law
  2. Texas Tech University School of Law
  3. Fordham University School of Law
  4. Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
  5. University of Oklahoma College of Law
  6. South Texas College of Law Houston
  7. William and Mary Law School
  8. Michigan State University College of Law
  9. Campbell University – Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law
  10. Brooklyn Law School

This was the first year that the entirety of the ABA Law Student Division’s practical skills competitions were held virtually.

About the rankings

The title of Competitions Champion is awarded annually to the law school that tallies the most points through team achievements and participation in the ABA Law Student Division’s four practical skills competitions. Ranking criteria and the point totals for the top teams can be found here.

The Competitions Champion award was created to recognize law schools that go above and beyond to help prepare their students for practice. Success in these competitions illustrate each school’s commitment to providing a well-rounded curriculum and preparing students to become highly skilled lawyers. ABA competitions are an important part of the hands-on learning experiences available to students at these exceptional law schools.

“Our four competitions offer students an amazing opportunity to hone essential lawyering skills before they enter practice,” said Connie S. Smothermon, Competitions Committee Co-Chair, Director of Competitions & Externships, University of Oklahoma College of Law. “Through consistent participation and success in ABA competitions, these law schools display especially well-rounded practical skills training programs. We are thrilled to recognize these schools through the Competitions Championship.”

Judges for the competitions included volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench.

Stetson Law’s current overall competition victory tally:

5 World (International)
79 National Championships
97 Regional Championships
52 State Championships
60 Brief Awards
174 Best Oralist/Best Advocate Awards
6 Professionalism Awards
2 National Competition Awards

A composite of multiple student headshots for those who are members of the Dispute Resolution Board.
A composite of multiple student headshots for those who are members of the Moot Court Board.

Media contact: Ashley McKnight-Taylor
communications@law.stetson.edu | 727-430-1580