The Howard Payne University team of Jake Aschmutat, a senior from Corpus Christi, and Charity Chambers, a senior from Derby, Kan., recently won the South Texas College of Law Moot Court Tournament in Houston.
The pair beat a team from the U. S. Air Force Academy in the final round, resulting in a unanimous 5-0 decision for Aschmutat and Chambers. The panel of judges consisted of the dean of the law school, a state appellate judge in Houston and one of the founding members of the undergraduate moot court organization, among others.
Aschmutat and Chambers were each awarded a $1,000 cash prize for their victory. A cash award also went to HPU’s Joshua Milam, a senior from Midland, who earned a fifth place oralist award out of 76 competitors and $100.
Additional honors for HPU included a ninth place oralist award to Chambers and advancement to Octofinals for the teams of Milam and Katie Rose Bonner, a sophomore from Lytle; and Cayden McDonald, a junior from Whitehouse, and Elizabeth Rogers, a junior from Grand Junction, Colo.
Other HPU students competing included Bethany Berry, a junior from Post; Zachary Gafford, a sophomore from Snyder; Landon Hankins, a senior from Decatur; and Caleb McConnell, a sophomore from Burleson.
HPU’s teams are coached by Mandy Locker, assistant professor of political science and criminal justice and Sandefer Chair of Political Science at HPU.
“I am extremely proud of Jake and Charity and all of their hard work that translated into such an amazing win at the South Texas College of Law tournament,” Locker said. “I am also very proud of all of the Howard Payne students who competed well, because even prior to Jake and Charity’s win, the law school admissions office was remarking about how great all of our students were and how much they wanted to make a visit to our campus to recruit.”
HPU competed against teams from 38 institutions including the Air Force Academy, Baylor University, the University of North Texas, California State University at Long Beach, Arkansas State University, The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas A&M University and more.
“This tournament was the first competition of the Moot Court season, and Howard Payne has set the bar high,” Locker said. “I feel like HPU has earned the reputation of being ‘the school to beat’ at the regional competitions.”
The Moot Court team will next travel to the Texas Tech University School of Law to compete in a tournament on Nov. 16 and 17. Teams that break into quarterfinals during this competition will receive an automatic bid to the National Tournament at Regent University School of Law in January.