Charles Hamilton Houston was one of the most important civil rights attorneys in American history. A lawyer, in his view, was an agent for social change—“either a social engineer or a parasite on society.” In 1958, the main building of the Howard University School of Law was dedicated as Charles Hamilton Houston Hall. His significance became more broadly known through the success of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and after the 1983 publication of Genna Rae McNeil’s Groundwork: Charles Hamilton Houston and the Struggle for Civil Rights. He also served as an inspiration and mentor to Judge William Hastie, Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., Judge Spottswood William Robinson, III, James Nabrit Jr., and Oliver Hill. All of whom were leading legal scholars of their day and dedicated their careers to the fight for equality for all. Charles Houston served as Dean of Howard University School of Law from 1929 to 1935, during which time he shaped the school into a significant institution, training almost a quarter of the nation’s black law students. He focused on civil rights law, a subject that was not part of the curriculum of America’s law schools. The Charles Hamilton Houston National Moot Court Team is named in honor of Mr. Houston because of his role as the mastermind behind the brilliant strategy that attacked the “separate but equal doctrine,” which led to the destruction of legal segregation. In the words of Thurgood Marshall, “we owe it all to Charlie.”
HONORING OUR HISTORY
Each year, the Charles Hamilton Houston National Moot Court team hosts our annual William B. Bryant-Luke C. Moore Invitational Moot Court Competition.
The Bryant-Moore Competition is in honor of the Honorable William B. Bryant and the Honorable Luke Charles Moore. Judge Bryant, a 1936 graduate of Howard Law, became the first African American Chief Justice of the U.S. District of the District of Columbia.
President Kennedy appointed Judge Moore a Chief U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia, making him the first African-American to serve in that capacity since Frederick Douglass. Then, President Nixon appointed Judge Moore to the Superior Court where he became a senior judge. The Bryant-Moore competition is dedicated to honoring both Judge Bryant’s and Judge Moore’s legacies. The Inaugural Bryant Moore Invitational Moot Court Competition will be held March 3rd and March 4th, 2017.
2015-2016 Team Achievements
- Semifinalist - 2016 D.C. Cup Moot Court Competition
3rd Best Oralist - McGee Moot Court Competition (out of 55 oralists)
- Quarterfinalist - McGee Moot Court Competition
- Best Oralist - National Telecommunications Bar Association Moot Court Competition
Fourth Place Brief - J. Braxton Craven, Jr. Memorial Moot Court Competition
- Quarterfinalist - J. Braxton Craven, Jr. Memorial Moot Court Competition
2014-2015 Team Achievements
- Best Appellee Brief & Runner-up Best Brief Overall - 2015 Global Antitrust Institute Invitational Moot Court Competition
- 2015 Global Antitrust Institute Invitational Moot Court Competition
2013-2014 Team Achievements
- Best Oralist – 2013 Tulane University Law School National Sports Law Competition
- Professionalism Award – 2013 Charles School of Law National Moot Court Competition