Law School sponsors first annual Beck Awards, presented by the David J. Beck Center for Legal Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy

On April 23, 2013, the University of Texas School of Law hosted the first annual Beck Awards at a luncheon recognizing the work of the new David J. Beck Center for Legal Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy. The Beck Center was launched in the spring of 2012 with support from David J. Beck, ’65, life trustee of the Law School Foundation and founder of renowned litigation boutique Beck Redden LLP. Among the Beck Center’s mandates is honing law students’ oral and written advocacy skills, which are foundational to all lawyers’ success.

The individuals honored this year include several sets of exceptional students: those who served as teaching assistants or teaching quizmasters (aka “TQs”) for the Law School’s legal writing program; those who represented the Law School in interscholastic moot court competitions; and those who, as 1Ls, have demonstrated distinct promise in mastering both objective, predictive legal writing and persuasive written advocacy.

Dean Ward Farnsworth began the program by introducing David Beck, the inaugural keynote speaker. After this year’s honorees were recognized, Wayne Schiess, director of the Beck Center, presented the Beck Awards for Excellence in Legal Writing to this year’s 1L winners:

Priyanka Dev

Christen Mason

Kathleen Pritchard

Alex Robertson

Alistair Graham Robertson

Claire Sarson


This year’s honorees also include:

Interscholastic Moot Court Participants

The ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition

Michelle Arishita

Phil Harris

Michael Kelso

Ross MacDonald

Lauren Ross

Colin Watterson

Gretchen Sween (coach)

Karson Thompson ‎(coach)


Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition

Chris Furlong

Jaaron Sanderson

Marie Delahoussaye

Adam Arikat

Sarah Coleman

Debbie Langehennig ‎(coach)

Jay Ong (coach)

Stephen ‎Lemmon (coach)


Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court (National Champions)

Yingying Zeng

Colleen Bloss

Shalla Sluyter (coach)

Meredith Fitzpatrick ‎(coach)‎


Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition

Meredith Elkins

Laura Ingram

Rocco Magni

Yaniv Maman

Adam Prom

Claire Smyser

Chris Sapstead ‎(coach)


NYU Immigration Law Competition

Nikiya Natale

Brittany Perkins

Audrey Lynn

Michael Ritter (coach)


Teaching Quizmasters

Alese Bagdol (2 yrs)

Jonathan Hunter (2 yrs)

Megan Myers (2 yrs)

Jonathan Levy (2 yrs)

Michael Abrams

Emily Ardolino

Kate Bailey

Samantha Blons

Amanda Branch

Caitlin Bubar

David Doak

Britt Glass

Hannah Jenkins

Courtney Johnson

Kimberly Kauffman

Kelsie Krueger

Grace Matthews

Cassie McCrae

Kelley McIlhattan

Dina McKenney

Kayleigh McNelis

Ryan Meltzer

Spencer Patton

Brent Rubin

Andrea Shannon

Marina Stefanova

Joel Thomason

Brian Young


The Beck Center includes Professors Natalia Blinkova, Kamela Bridges, Elana Einhorn, Robin Meyer, Sean Petrie, Wayne Schiess (director), Stacy Rogers Sharp, Gretchen Sween (director of interscholastic moot court), and Elizabeth Youngdale—all of whom teach the introductory 1L legal research and writing courses as well as a range of upper-level course offerings, including transactional drafting, writing for litigation, and appellate advocacy skills.

Contact: Gretchen Sween,

Category: Student Life
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