ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia’s top courts are hosting the final round of moot court and mock trial competitions for Black law students.
Georgia Supreme Court Justice Verda Colvin, spearheaded the coordination of that court, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Statewide Business Court to host and judge the final round Saturday of the National Black Law Students Association’s Thurgood Marshall Moot Court and Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial competitions.
“It’s nice to be a part of something in a space that really gives aspiring young lawyers the feeling that they are moving into their careers,” Justice Colvin said in a news release. “I hope that being in the halls of the highest courts of our state gives these students confidence as they put in the work and advocate for their positions.”
The National Black Law Students Association aims “to increase the number of culturally responsible Black and minority attorneys who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.” Its southern region has more than 40 chapters and 1,7000 law student members in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The competitions are part of the group’s annual convention and career fair, and up to 70 moot court and mock trial competitors are expected to be among the conference’s 250 participants.
The top four teams in the moot court competition will compete in the final round in the Supreme Court courtroom at the Nathan Deal Judicial Center. Meanwhile, the top two mock trial teams will compete in the Court of Appeals courtroom. The winning team in each competition will advance to national contests.
Colvin, who previously served on the state Court of Appeals and was appointed to the high court by Gov. Brian Kemp last year, was a member of the group when she was a law student at the University of Georgia.
Colvin and Court of Appeals Judges Clyde Reese and Andrew Pinson will judge the moot court competition, while Business Court Judge Walt Davis will preside over the mock trial competition. Colvin and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton plan to join other Black judges from the state during the convention to talk about their legal careers.