Alumnus Helps South Texas College of Law Houston Win Unrivaled 133rd National Advocacy Championship

Belmont alumnus Clayton Hart, class of 2016, is part of the student team at South Texas College of Law Houston (STCL Houston) that won a prestigious national advocacy championship for the second time this month, bringing the law school’s unrivaled national advocacy championship total to 133 — more than any other law school in the country by at least half.

The student team of Hart, Marcela Arevalo and Casidy Newcomer remained undefeated throughout the three-day 20th Annual National Entertainment Law Moot Court Tournament, hosted by Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, Calif.

Hart said he feels honored to represent South Texas at such a prestigious competition. “Mostly, I’m proud of how hard my teammates and coaches worked to accomplish our goal,” he said. “We entered this tournament to win, and we did. I would like to personally thank our wonderful professors who have instilled in us a fierce commitment to working hard and perfecting our craft. I will forever be proud to have been a student — and a competitor for — South Texas College of Law Houston.”

Moot court competitions simulate appellate court proceedings with students working in teams to answer questions directly from a panel of judges.

According to the host school, the tournament afforded participating students “the opportunity to argue novel entertainment law issues before some of the best entertainment lawyers in Los Angeles, California.”

The STCL Houston students defeated Florida State University College of Law, Mitchell-Hamline School of Law, and Pepperdine in the preliminary rounds prior to besting Cardozo Law School in the semifinal round. The South Texas team defeated students from Texas Tech University School of Law in the finals.

The STCL Houston team also earned the tournament’s Best Petitioner’s Brief award. Former top South Texas advocates Ryan Cunningham ’17 and Dominique Hinson ’14 helped coach the future attorneys to STCL Houston’s unprecedented win.

“I couldn’t be prouder of these students who worked so hard to reach this significant milestone — both for themselves and for South Texas College of Law Houston,” said Rob Galloway, associate director of Appellate Advocacy at STCL Houston. “Clayton, Casidy, and Marcela — along with their outstanding alumni coaches — continue to represent our 96-year-old law school well on the national advocacy stage.”