UM Law School Brings Home Moot Court Competition Awards

March 06, 2018

UM law students Lowell Chandler (left) and Nathan BurkeMISSOULA – Students from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana received accolades at this year’s Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, held on Feb. 22-23 at Pace University in White Plains, New York.

The team of Nathan Burke and Lowell Chandler, both second-year law students from Missoula, competed at the 2018 event and received the Fossil Creek Watchers Best Brief for the environmental side. 

Facing the University of Colorado and the University of North Carolina in the first round, Burke was selected as best oralist. In round two, they faced the University of California, Davis, and Emory University. In the final preliminary round against the University of Maryland and the University of Pittsburgh, Lowell was selected as best oralist. On the strength of their exceptional brief and outstanding oral presentations, they advanced to the quarterfinal round. 

More than 130 students from 53 law schools competed at Pace in 2018. This year’s fact pattern addressed whether a state law requiring coal ash pond remediation was properly included in a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, and whether the EPA’s 1980 waste treatment exclusion grandfathered existing ash ponds impounding waters of the U.S. from Clean Water Act jurisdiction.

“Much of the team’s success is owed to the many attorneys in Missoula who volunteered their time and expertise in helping prepare Nathan and Lowell for this competition,” said Heidi Fanslow, the UM faculty coach of the environmental law moot court team. “Thanks to all involved for your dedication and help. We are proud of how our students performed against other excellent law students from across the nation.”


Contact: Sara Kryder, director of communications and events, UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law, 406-243-5730,