Former Student Wins Champion in Court Competition at UT School of Law

Hannah (Beckerdite) Roblyer, left, with second place winner Mihret Getabicha. Submitted photo.

Hannah (Beckerdite) Roblyer, left, with second place winner Mihret Getabicha. Submitted photo.

AUSTIN, Texas–Congratulations to Hannah (Beckerdite) Roblyer ’13 on becoming the champion during the latest court competition that was held recently at the University of Texas School of Law this spring.

Roblyer was the champion sole winner and was one of two finalists that came from the top 64 first-year law students selected for the Thad T. Hutcheson Moot Court Competition.

The event is a competition held for outstanding first-year advocates at the University of Texas School of Law. Each student contestant was selected based on the strength of his or her final briefs and oral arguments in their Legal Research and Writing classes. The contestants then competed in single-elimination rounds with three-judge panels which were comprised of outstanding legal practitioners from the Austin area.

The final round was presided over by five prestigious UT Law graduates – this year, Professor Scott McCown, Judge Patricia Alvarez, Judge Lee Yeakel, Solicitor General Scott Keller, and Judge Cindy Bourland, she said.

In moot court rounds, the advocates switch sides from the position they last argued. The rounds consist of advocacy for whichever client the competitor represents. During the advocacy, each competitor is consistently interrupted by judges asking complex legal questions/challenges or proposing hypothetical situations, the legal ramifications of which the competitors must quickly analyze and predict.

Roblyer said receiving the news that she had won the competition was a surprise to her.

“As a result, being in the final round was thrilling,” she said. “When the judge announced my name I was stunned and ecstatic.”

All of competitors in the tournament were UT Law students; Roblyer’s opponent in the final round earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and is pursuing a specialization in Human Rights Law.

“The best part of competing was getting to engage in complex issue analysis with outstanding legal minds,” she said.  “I am most comfortable at the podium when I feel like I’m having a conversation with the judges and just seeking to help alleviate any concerns they have about why my client should prevail.”

She also said that waiting in between rounds was the most nerve racking.

“The worst part of competing is the hour before the round starts – my nerves run pretty high until I’m physically at the podium,” she said. “Then when I’m up there, hashing through the arguments, I’m much more comfortable.”

Roblyer graduated from A&M in December of 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Forensic and Investigative Sciences in the Science track. She is currently working on her Juris Doctor (JD) degree at the University of Texas School of Law.

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