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VLS Students Win National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition

February 24, 2013

South Royalton, VT- Vermont Law School (VLS) announced today its student team secured first place in a prestigious national competition for environmental law --the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition (NELMCC) held  at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY from February 21-23, 2013.

Josh Leckey '13, Emily Dupraz '13, and Ryan Kane '13 The VLS team of Josh Leckey '13, Emily Dupraz '13, and Ryan Kane '13 (pictured left-right) argued for the fictional New Union Wildlife Federation, a citizens group that brought a Clean Water Act case to enforce a wetlands violation.  The VLS team also won the David Sive award for Best Overall Brief at the competition, and Ryan Kane'13 won Best Oralist for the second preliminary round.

"This victory testifies to the strength of the VLS student body and the quality of our faculty," said Marc Mihaly, VLS President and Dean. "I am very proud of Josh, Emily, and Ryan for their remarkable accomplishment, and thank their faculty coaches -- Pat Parenteau and Laura Murphy -- for their dedication to our students." 

The National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Pace Law School, now in its 25th year, is recognized as the preeminent environmental law moot (or simulated court proceeding) in the United States. The competition tests skills in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy on issues drawn from real cases, and provides experience in environmental litigation first hand. The competition at Pace draws more than 200 students from across the United States and Canada and 200 attorneys who serve as judges for three days of oral arguments to create a rigorous academic experience.

The competition is distinctive in that each team must argue on behalf of three different parties - the government, a public interest group, and a member of the regulated industry - in successive rounds over a three day period. Student teams write and file their briefs for their respective parties in early December and come to the Pace campus in February for the oral phase of the Competition.

The VLS team was coached by Patrick Parenteau, Professor of Law and Senior Counsel to the VLS Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC), with significant assistance from Laura Murphy, Assistant Professor of Law and Associate Director of the ENRLC.

VLS defeated Lewis & Clark Law School and Appalachian School of Law in the final round.  Other law schools competing in the competition include Georgetown University, New York University, University of California Berkeley, Texas Tech University, Baylor University, and the University of Illinois.

A low-resolution video of the final round can be found here. 

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