Ole Miss’ law school fields, as it were, many moot court teams, meant to hone students’ legal writing and courtroom mechanics in argument, preparation, procedure and rhetoric. Something like this exists at the high school level as well, in the form of debate clubs and mock UNs. Ole Miss’ moot court team program is, well, extremely good.
Meet Kent Aldenderfer of Huntsville, Ala., Kyle Hansen of Issaquah, Wash., and the recently graduated Alexia Boggs (JD 2017), from Nashville, Tenn. Andrea Harrington, an Ole Miss air and space law instructor (AIR AND SPACE LAW), stands in as the team’s faculty adviser, and Marshall McKellar (JD 2017) of Hattiesburg, serves as the air and space law team’s assistant coach.
This motley crew fought their way through various moot court tournaments all the way to the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition at Georgetown University Law Center — a real thing — and their victory there earned them the north American title, which in turn earned them a trip to the world championships in Adelaide, Australia. AUSTRALIA. Ole Miss bested Nebraska, McGill and Duke in the semifinals and final rounds at the north American championships, so take that Huskers.
The air and space moot court team finished second at the world championships this year, which they won outright in 2015, after yet another north American championship in the very same year. That seems pretty damn good.
I reached out to Ole Miss law Professor David W. Case, an Ole Miss alum — among many other accolades — and fellow RCR Twitter prankster whom you should absolutely follow, for some context, history, and narrative about the law school’s moot court competition program. He explained that the law school sends out about 20 different teams to a variety of competitions throughout the academic year — not all of them moot court — and that teams are generally made up of about two or three current law students, with an armature of either faculty or local-ish attorney advisors or “coaches.” Their recent carrots since 2011 are listed here, which does not yet include their 2017 triumphs.
Further still, if you’re wondering what “air and space law” is — as I was — here’s Professor Case on that very subject:
“Air and space law” is generally aviation law (the federal statutes that are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration) or the law that applies to what the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) does. “Space law” itself is an amalgamation of international law principles and international treaties that countries around the world have entered into regarding the activities of countries in outer space. This is not my field so I can’t be anything other than really general about it. Here is a link to our Air and Space Law program (Ole Miss Law is one of only two American law schools to have such a program) if you want to get more of a sense of what it actually covers.
One of two! Bragging rights, much? That seems disrespectful of the Tide. Ole Miss’ air and space moot law team overcame the University of Athens (the one in Greece) to advance to the finals of the world championships, where they eventually succumbed to the University of India to earn runner-up accolades. Still, though, that’s great.
Better even than that: Alexia Boggs won the award for Best Oralist at worlds. SHE’S THE BEST AIR AND SPACE LAW ORALIST IN THE WORLD, WHICH SEEMS REMARKABLE, GIVEN WE’RE TALKING ABOUT AIR AND SPACE LAW. So if you find yourself in need of a good trial lawyer in that particular field, perhaps consider kicking some billable hours her way. Great work all around, Ole Miss law.