Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Law Advocates Capture 50th National Championship

50th Championship Team

3Ls Taylor Holley, Alicia Mpande, and Kayla Schaded won the Law School's fiftieth national championship on February 3, 2022 at the 72nd Annual National Moot Court Competition—the oldest, and arguably most prestigious moot court competition in the world!

The team competed against Chicago-Kent College of Law. The case's first issue centered on whether inmates represented by counsel can file a notice of appeal by using something called the “prison mailbox rule,” or whether that rule is reserved for pro se inmates. The second issue concerned whether the prison's refusal to provide gender affirmation surgery is cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. 

Mpande and Schaded delivered the oral argument as the Respondent. Mpande was awarded the tournament's Best Advocate award, while Schaded won Runner-Up Best Advocate.

Aside from being a milestone championship, this win was particularly important because combined with their win at the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition last year, Holley and Mpande become just the third and fourth people ever to win both titles. 

“That's just an amazing accomplishment—winning the two biggest and most prestigious advocacy competitions in the country,” said Rob Sherwin, Champions in Advocacy Endowed Professor of Law and director of the Advocacy Program. “Indeed, there are just four people in history who have ever done that, and two of them go to Texas Tech Law.”

A special thanks to Professor Rob Sherwin and co-coaches, Justice Larry Doss '99, Allie Hallmark '12 (who also won this tournament when she was a student), and Sara Baumgardner '21.