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USD Law Moot Court Team Finishes Semester Strong

Morgan Erickson holding the best oral advocate award. Morgan Erickson, a South Dakota Moot Court Board member, received the best oral advocate award at the New York City Regional Competition hosted at the University of Minnesota.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota School of Law Moot Court Board finished the fall 2019 semester with a strong showing at the New York City Bar Regional Competition hosted at the University of Minnesota.

“It is always nice to test your mettle against other schools in your region,” said Bijan Bewley, a third-year law student and president of the Moot Court Board. "Both teams showed true grit in Minneapolis and continued to build on the excellence the Board has displayed this semester.”

Two teams comprised of law students Bijan Bewley, Tom Schartz, Tierney Scoblic, Conor Casey, Aspen Bechen and Morgan Erickson attended the three-day tournament at the University of Minnesota School of Law. The team of Conor Casey, Aspen Bechen, and Morgan Erickson reached the quarter-final round of the competition.

Erickson also took home the award for best oral advocate.

“Winning best oral advocate is truly a special achievement. The best oral advocate award is given to the person who not only demonstrates mastery of the legal subject at hand but mastery of the ability to succinctly deliver that material as well. Morgan bested nearly 40 other advocates from 13 other schools to win the award and the board is extremely proud of her accomplishment,” said Bewley.

The South Dakota Moot Court Board practices appellate brief writing and oral advocacy by competing in tournaments all over the country. The board will continue competitions in the spring.


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News