W&L Team Top Four Finisher at National Representation in Mediation Competition

Lexington, VA Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stacey Valentine, left, and Sabina Thaler
The Washington and Lee team of Sabina Thaler '11L and Stacey Valentine '11L earned a top four finish at the national Representation in Mediation Competition, held April 7-8 in San Francisco.

The team earned a trip to nationals after winning the regional competition hosted by W&L in February. In San Francisco, they faced off against nine other teams who emerged from the regional competitions. In all, 100 teams from 54 law schools competed in the regional events.

"It was an honor to represent Washington and Lee at such a prestigious event," said Thaler. "We are so very appreciative of W&L's continued dedication to the moot court program, both for this experience and for the professional skills that we have acquired through these many opportunities to compete."

During the competition law student teams role-play as attorneys and clients to model appropriate preparation for and representation of a client in mediation. Students participate in teams of two, with one student playing the role of the attorney and the other acting as the client. The two teams meet in the presence of a mediator and work towards resolution of their difficulties. The competitors are judged on the effective combination of advocacy skills and problem-solving. Participants are not expected to sacrifice their client's interests in order to be collaborative.

After two preliminary rounds on April 7th teams from Maryland, Seton Hall, W&L and Texas Wesleyan advanced to the Semi-Final Round on April 8th. The teams from Maryland and Seton Hall advanced to the Championship Round, where Maryland prevailed. The remaining teams were not assigned a finish order.

"In law school it is uncommon to be a part of a truly collaborative process. I found the most rewarding aspect of the competition was the chance to learn and work as a team," said Valentine. "We also saw what it can be like to work with, and at times against, other soon-to-be lawyers. I would highly encourage other students to take advantage of the moot court activities offered here at W&L and beyond."

Next year, Thaler will serve as editor in chief of the W&L Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice. Valentine will continue her participation in Moot Court, serving as one of the administrators of the Negotiations, Client Counseling and Mediation competitions. For more information about moot court at W&L, visit law.wlu.edu/mootcourt.

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