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No. 2

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David Halbrook
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PHC Wins Fourth Moot Court Championship

For the fourth time in six years, Patrick Henry College has won the American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA) National Championship, held January 15–16, 2010, at the Florida International University College of Law in Miami. The team of Rachel Heflin and Jenna Lorence beat a team from Baylor University, giving Heflin back-to-back titles and making her the tournament’s only two-time champion.

PHC Moot Court champions
PHC/Art Cox
PHC students and homeschool graduates Rachel Heflin and Jenna Lorence won the AMCA National Championships in Miami, FL, in January 2010.

Last year’s national third-place team of PHC students James Mieding and Robert Kelly also captured 2010’s third-place trophy. The duo might have finished even higher had they not had to duel Heflin-Lorence in the semifinals.

“In their PHC careers, Robert and James have never lost a round in a moot court competition except to a PHC team,” observed an elated Michael Farris, PHC’s chancellor, founder, and moot court coach. “As it was, we had two teams in the round of eight and advanced more teams at each stage than any other college.”

“The competition in Miami was incredibly rigorous, and keeps getting stronger each year,” he added. But, as he told a packed and cheering crowd of students at PHC on the Monday after the tournament, “This little college in Virginia has amassed a tremendous track record.”

To date, no other college or university has won more than one ACMA national championship. Among the other teams competing in Miami were Harvard and Syracuse universities, Holy Cross, the College of Wooster (2008 ACMA Champion), and Fitchburg State College. In all, PHC sent the maximum number of eight teams to the 64-team competition and placed first, third, ninth, eleventh, thirteenth and seventeenth.

The college also won national brief writing titles, with Kelly-Mieding winning Best Petitioner Brief, while Rachel Blum and Paul Sellers earned Best Respondent Brief. PHC also had six students qualify in the top 20 individual speaker awards, with Kelly placing second and Mieding capturing fifth place, as well as Jenna Lorence (eleventh place), Levi Swank (twelfth), Joseph Alm (thirteenth place), and Zachary Enos (nineteenth place).

Beyond championships and trophies, Dr. Farris saw a potentially far greater impact in the warm, respectful relationships forged with other schools and competitors at ACMA events in recent years.

“Our goal is not simply to win a national tournament,” concluded Dr. Farris, “but to carry Christ and His message into everything that we do. Doing your best in a moot court round is simply the foundation for serving Christ to the best of your ability in the future.”

To read more about PHC’s moot court championship, visit the college website.

About the author

David Halbrook is the director of communications at Patrick Henry College.