Wednesday, March  29, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 121

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About the Cougar

UH law team advances to nationals

By C. Joy Chafin
News Reporter

The UH Law Center's mock trial students will advance to national competition in Dallas on Thursday after victory over 23 teams from Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma in the regional finals.

Team members Mary Grace Mask, Brooke Schmidley and Dennis Slate will compete against teams from across the country as they represent UH and the other 47 members of their team in competition.

"We don't take the ideas of just three people. We take ideas of all 50 people on the team," said Jackie Houlette, mock trial team coach.

Membership selection for most mock trial teams is done by coaches and professors, Houlette said. At UH, members try out and then compete against each other throughout the semester. Based on that, the coaches decide who will represent the team at the state competition.

At the national level, the team will compete against others by trying all aspects of a civil lawsuit. Members trade off giving opening and closing arguments, questioning and preparing all documents during the trial. Teams must try mock cases as if they represented both the plaintiffs and defendants.

In addition to being a great experience for law students, Houlette said the competition is a great way for students to meet others in the legal field.

Along with Houlette, who is a senior associate at Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, the team is coached by criminal defense lawyer Chip Lewis. Houlette has been coaching the team for five years.

The national competition is sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers' Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

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