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Phillips Murrah sponsors OU Law’s Best Brief Award

Eight 1L students were awarded the Best Brief Award, sponsored by Phillips Murrah, on April 19 at the University of Oklahoma's Competitions and Clinic Awards Luncheon.

Eight 1L students were awarded the Best Brief Award, sponsored by Phillips Murrah, on April 19 at the University of Oklahoma’s Competitions and Clinic Awards Luncheon.

First-year law students in the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law put their studies to the test to compete for the Best Brief Award, sponsored by Phillips Murrah law firm.

“All 1L students at OU Law are required to write an appellate brief in their Legal Writing and Research class, and this brief is later used to argue their case in the 1L Moot Court Competition,” Attorney Kendra M. Norman said.

Following the the 1L Moot Court Competition, top appellate briefs were judged and recognized at The Competitions and Clinic Awards Luncheon on April 19 at Robert S. Kerr Student Lounge on campus.

Norman and Hilary H. Clifton, Phillips Murrah Attorneys and OU Alumnae, represented the Firm in awarding the $5,000 Best Brief Award to the top eight students.

“Writing my first brief took an immense amount of research on the topic as well as meticulous editing and structuring of the brief to maximize the effectiveness and persuasiveness of the legal arguments involved,” Norman said. “It was a new style of writing for me, so I devoted a substantial amount of time to making my brief the very best that I could and learning the intricacies of how to effectively convey legal arguments.”

The $5,000 prize is divided among the winners and is the only OU College of Law writing award with a monetary gift.

“The moot court competition is a very exciting and frequently terrifying right of passage for all first year law students,” Clifton said. “At first, writing the brief seems like an insurmountable task, but it’s such a satisfying feeling to complete your first major piece of legal writing.

“The topics usually involve really interesting topics in Constitutional or criminal law, which is a nice change of pace from the fundamentals you spend most of your time learning as a 1L. My year, the brief was due at noon on St. Patrick’s day, and I remember frantically trying to finish so that I could go celebrate, but I’m pretty sure I spent the rest of the day catching up on sleep instead.”

Norman represents clients in a broad range of transactional matters, and Clifton represents individuals and companies in the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group.

Click here to learn more about the OU College of Law.

Attorney appointed adjunct professor of OCU School of Law

Rodney L. Cook is experienced in all areas of tort litigation with special emphasis in the practice areas of product liability, warranty, insurance and fraternity law.

Rodney L. Cook is experienced in all areas of tort litigation with special emphasis in the practice areas of product liability, warranty, insurance and fraternity law.

Phillips Murrah Attorney Rodney L. Cook has been appointed as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law where he will be teaching Pretrial Litigation this semester.

He continues to serve as an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law where he has taught Civil Pretrial Litigation for ten years.

 

Phillips Murrah attorneys judge Calvert Moot Court competition

Attorneys Robert Campbell, Cody Cooper, and Kayce Gisinger volunteer to judge OU College of Law’s Calvert Moot Court competition.

Phillips Murrah attorneys Robert Campbell, Cody Cooper, and Kayce Gisinger are flipping the script by judging in the University of Oklahoma College of Law’s Calvert Moot Court competition this week.

During the annual competition, second and third year law students compete as teams against one another in a series of rounds and those with the best records advance to the finals. Each attorney volunteered to act as a judge for preliminary rounds of competition.

“The students did an excellent job and their hard work and preparation definitely showed through their presentation and analysis of complex constitutional issues,” Cooper said. “I really enjoy getting to go back to the school and volunteer to help the law students because it is an opportunity to help students develop and also lets me take an objective look at what presentation methods are persuasive and effective so that I can carry those observations over into my own practice.”

This year the competition revolves around the case of Kansas v. Carr, No. 14-450, pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.  The arguments are centered around the appropriate weight given to mitigating circumstances in a capital sentencing, said Leann Farha, a student at OU College of Law who helped organize the teams for the competition.

“One of the most valuable aspects of a competition is the participation of the judges,” she said. “The judges in each round provide feedback that will not only help students during the competition, but will also impact their future legal careers.”

The prizes are as follows: $500 each for the winning team, $250 each for the first runner-up, and $100 for the best individual speaker, said Mitch McGrew, External Relations Director for the Board of Advocates at OU College of Law.

The final round of the competition will take place at noon on Friday, October 30 in OU’s Bell Courtroom for those interested in attending.

To follow along and get more information about the competition, visit the OU Board of Advocates Facebook page here or follow them on Twitter here.