The 2021 Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition (NELMCC)

March 11, 2021

Instituted in 1989, the Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition (NELMCC) is one of the largest interschool moot court competitions. Under normal conditions, NELMCC is known for hosting as many as 350 law students and attorney judges on our bucolic campus at The Elisabeth Haub School of Law.  However, this year was like no other. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and all students studying remotely, we were motivated to continue our mission and provide a highly competitive competition virtually for the first time.

NELMCC has established a national standard of excellence in moot court competitions.  Each year the “Problem” presented to the teams focuses on timely issues of national importance to the practice of environmental law. This year, Professor Karl Coplan challenged both teams and judges alike with a unique and complex “Problem.”  Prior to the Competition, competitors research and analyze the issues presented in the environmental problem before writing persuasive arguments for one party (either the government, a public interest group, or a member of the regulated industry) advocating how the issues should be resolved. Competitors are then required to argue the issues orally for all three parties, rounding out the rigorous academic experience.

The preliminary, quarterfinal, and semifinal rounds were held virtually on Zoom on Wednesday, February 17 – 19 and accommodated three different time zones.  The final round was on Saturday, March 6 and presided by four judges: The Honorable Chad Readler, Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, The Honorable Aaron P. Avila, EPA, Appeals Board Judge, Washington D.C, Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Baker Botts LLP, Washington, DC, and Judge Lisa Margaret Smith, NYS Magistrate Judge, Ret.  After the final round, the esteemed judges gave excellent critique and feedback to the winning team, University of Miami School of Law (Team 19).  The two finalist teams were University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (Team 25) and the University of Wisconsin Law School (Team 32.)

The Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition is grateful to the organizations and people whose generous financial support help make the event possible. This year, we were pleased to have the following major supporters: AlterEcho, The American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER), and Baker Botts LLP.

To see full competition results and watch the NELMCC 2021 competition, please click here.

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