A comprehensive appellate advocacy awards recognition program has been newly established at the College of Law, to reward students who have been fully engaged and have excelled in the College’s Appellate Advocacy/Moot Court curriculum.
The awards have been generously funded by Jackie Goff ’73 of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, a former Moot Courter herself. Ms. Goff retired as Inspector General for the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C., and was President of the Federal Bar Association from 1999-2000. She was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna of the College of Law in 2006 and has been a selfless volunteer for the College of Law for many years, including membership on, and a past president of, the Dean’s Advisory Board. Ms. Goff was among the earliest and most generous contributors to the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) at the College of Law, and she has established these new awards in honor of Virginia Vermillion, Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and Dean of Students.
"Being a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board helps me keep informed and excited about the College of Law. Such involvement always encourages me to think of ways that I can help the current students, even if in a minor way. Having been a Moot Courter myself, and recalling that there was very little recognition for all of the work that was involved, it occurred to me after this fall’s Advisory meeting that perhaps I could add to the College’s oral advocacy awards program," Jackie said.
"I found it very exciting to see the awards grow, to recognize their hopeful impact on the Moot Courters and the College’s oral advocacy program, and to be able to honor Dean V‘s enthusiasm for the students and the program," she added.
"There are no words to adequately convey my gratitude to College of Law alumna Jackie Goff for her graciousness in recognizing me in conjunction with these awards. With her focus on supporting and incentivizing the Advanced Appellate Advocacy and the related Moot Court program, students will be beneficiaries of her generosity for years to come. Jackie’s continued support of the College of Law, the law students, and myself is truly remarkable," Dean Vermillion said.
Virginia Vermillion graduated from the College of Law in 1986. As a student, she was a Harno Scholarship recipient, a Rickert Scholar for Oral Advocacy, advanced in the Frederick Green Moot Court Competition where she served on the Board of Editors, received the Thomas Competition for Oral Advocacy award, was a third place recipient in the Client Counseling Competition, and was the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award for Remedies.
Formerly a practicing attorney in complex litigation, Virginia returned to the College of Law in 1999 in the Career Planning Office. In 2003, Virginia was named Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Administration and, in 2007, she was named Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and Dean of Students. During her time at the College, Virginia worked with committee members and other College of Law groups to enhance the Moot Court program structure. For the 2016-2017 academic year, Virginia also served as the Co-Manager to the Moot Court Program and as the Moot Court Lead Administrator for the Frederick Green Honorary Moot Court Competition. Virginia is known affectionately by the students and the entire College of Law community as “Dean V.”
The following awards will be conferred annually, to those students who meet the following qualifications of excellence:
Frederick Green Moot Court—Honorary Round
The overall top ranked four students from the fall semester Law 793: Advanced Legal Writing - Appellate Advocacy course are eligible to advance to the prestigious Frederick Green Moot Court Honorary Round in the immediately following spring semester. In the Honorary Round, the four finalists will compete before a panel of distinguished judges from across the country for the coveted prize of the Best Oral Advocate. Previously, this accomplishment was recognized by a certificate and the remaining three participants were verbally recognized for their excellence during the Honorary Round. However, through the vision and generosity of Ms. Goff, the College of Law will be able to provide the following annual awards:
- Best Oral Advocate in the Honorary Round: $1,000
- Remaining three Honorary Round participants: $500 per student (total $1,500)
All four students will receive plaques to recognize their achievement.
External Spring Moot Court Competitions
Federal Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition
The next four ranked student finalists (5th- 8th) from the immediately preceding fall semester of Law 793: Advanced Legal Writing - Appellate Advocacy course, should they compete in the prestigious Federal Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition, will be eligible for a prize of $250 per team member should the team earn at least Second Place in any team category. If any student earns First Place in the Oral Advocacy category, that student will receive $500 for that award. All students winning awards will receive certificates to recognize their achievement.
Remaining Moot Court External Competitions from the Fall Appellate Advocacy Course
The next eight ranked student finalists (9th - 16th) from the immediately preceding fall semester of Law 793: Advanced Legal Writing - Appellate Advocacy course who elect to continue in the Moot Court External Competitions will be eligible for a prize of $150 per team member should the team earn at least Second Place in any team category. If any student earns First Place in the Oral Advocacy category, that student will earn $300 for that award. All students winning awards will receive certificates to recognize their achievement.
Should no set of finalists compete in the Federal Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition, those students would be included in the awards structure for the Remaining Spring Moot Court External Competitions from the Fall Appellate Advocacy Course.