The excitement continued on day two of the Jeffrey G. Miller Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition! Each of the sixty-two teams competed in the third preliminary round Friday morning. After the rounds, while the competitors and attorney-judges waited patiently, scores from each of the three preliminary rounds were compiled, and added to each of the team’s brief score to reach a final preliminary score for each of the sixty-two teams. The teams with the top twenty-seven scores were selected to advance to the Quarter Final round. At two o’clock, competitors and coaches gathered anxiously in the Tudor Room to hear if they would advance. Following the announcements, the quarter-finalists immediately began preparations for the afternoon’s round.
The Quarter Final round went off without a hitch! The twenty-seven teams were split into nine rooms, and one winning team emerged from each room. By the end of the night, only nine semi-final teams remained! On Saturday morning, three rooms of semi-finalists will argue in hopes of moving on to the Final Round of the Competition.
During Friday’s lunch hour, Professor-Emeritus Ann Powers hosted a Professor’s Workshop in the Faculty Lounge. Lead by the esteemed Bob Perciasepe, the workshop was entitled “How Do We Get Back to a Rational National Debate on Climate Change?” Over thirty professors from across the nation (one as far away as Hawaii) attended to discuss how to move past the political polarization in climate change conversations across the nation.
Also during the lunch hour, the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources hosted a panel discussion for students interested in environmental law. Entitled “So You Want to Be An Environmental Lawyer – How to Get There From Here,” five panelists explained various ways to get involved in the environmental legal community. Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, the Executive Director and General Counsel of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) spoke of her experience in both the private and public sector. Steve Miano, a partner and head of the environmental practice at Hangley Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller in Philadelphia, discussed environmental law in private practice, while Sean Dixon, a staff attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, shared his experiences as a non-profit environmental attorney. Lauren Fischer represented the governmental perspective, as assistant regional counsel in EPA Region 2. The panel’s moderator, Seth Davis, is an adjunct professor for the Pace University School of Law and a partner at the Elias Group in Rye, New York. Attorneys, student bailiffs, and student competitors attended the panel, making it an overwhelming success! We are thankful to ABA SEER for their continued support of the Competition, and hope that we can make this panel a tradition in years to come.
At the evening’s award ceremony, each of the nine semi-final teams were awarded certificates and books, donated by the Environmental Law Institute. Awards were also given to the two oralists with the best composite scores from the preliminary rounds.
Please check back tomorrow for the results of the final round, and the names of the best brief writers, quarterfinalists, and semifinalists!
– Diana Neeves, NELMCC Chair 2015