It Takes a Team or Many Teams to Pull off Competition Success

Group of people
Ingrid Bent and Kyra Burke (far left) with other student competitors at the Davis and Cannon Natural Resources Law Moot Court Competition. With them in the final round were (from far right) Scarlett Forrest, Kate Gamble and Iva Reckling.

Ingrid Bent ran a half marathon in Colorado two days before she and Kyra Burke took the top spot in the Davis & Cannon Natural Resources Law Moot Court Competition September 21. The Davis and Cannon Natural Resources Law Moot Court Competition, the first UW College of Law competition of the school year, challenges teams to argue both sides of a natural resources case.

Ingrid and Kyra, 2Ls and friends since fourth grade, will team up next for the Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition or the National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition at West Virginia University College of Law in early 2023. Iva Reckling, who was named best oralist, will join them in at the national level. 

College of Law competitions are organized by law students for student competitors. Faculty coaches, volunteers and competition sponsors provide essential support. Gabrielle Despain (2L) was the student organizer of the Davis and Cannon Natural Resources Law Moot Court Competition, and Sam Kalen and Temple Stoellinger served as faculty coaches. The law firm of Davis & Cannon sponsors the competition.

Emily Harmon and Lainee Jones, both 1Ls, were winners of the Richard E. Day Client Counseling Competition held at the Law School October 15. This year’s competition was organized by last year’s winners, Jessie Salas and Cristina Salazar, both 3Ls.

The Client Counseling Competition challenges law students to propose solutions for volunteer “clients.” Each team of two attorneys works to obtain the legally relevant information and provide a preliminary summary of the client’s legal position and possible actions. The competition emphasizes communication and other interpersonal skills essential to sound representation of clients.

Williams, Porter, Day & Neville P.C. of Casper sponsors the event; Danielle Cover is the faculty coach; and volunteers from both the legal and counseling communities make the competition possible. Emily and Lainee will represent UW at the regional competition in February 2023.

The Board of Advocates is the student organization responsible for organizing in-school competitions. The Board of Advocates for the 2022-2023 school year are President Kimber Logan (3L), Amy Vangellow (2L), as well as Gabrielle Despain, Jessie Salas and Cristina Salazar.

Amy Vangello’s turn comes in spring 2023, as she is responsible for the ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition. This competition simulates legal negotiations in which students-as-lawyers negotiate a series of legal problems. Ken Chestek is faculty coach.

The other spring competition this year is hosted by the student chapter of the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association, which invites students to compete in the 2023 Voir Dire Competition February 3 and 4. Jacob Stewart and David Holmes are organizers, and Lauren McLane is faculty coach.

Voir dire is the process by which potential jurors are selected or rejected, and trial lawyers’ skill at this initial stage can affect the outcome of a jury trial. In this and other competitions, students learn not only through practice but by the thoughtful feedback of experienced professionals. 



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