When Ted McNamara and Chris Bogren met in the summer of '09, they knew they would become good friends. They shared the same humor and both had a passion for civil litigation. What they did not know was that by their second year, they would be finding successes together in Moot Court competitions.
On Saturday, McNamara and Bogren competed in the ABA Negotiations Competition, where they made it to the semi-final round. Twenty-four teams competed in Atlanta, Georgia during the mid-year ABA meeting.
The team of McNamara and Bogren took the first place title in October when they beat out 22 teams on campus in an inter school negotiation competition. In December, they advanced to the Regional ABA/LSD Negotiation Competition held at Stetson University in Tampa, where they also placed first.
The friends studied their cases, thoroughly learned their facts and constructed various solid arguments. They did this while working part-time, too. Both are law clerks: McNamara works for Wagar Law in Coconut Grove and Bogren works for Liebler Gonzalez, and Portuando, P.A. located in downtown Miami.
Last year, McNamara, who is also a Moot Court board member, was recognized as the best oralist for the John T. Gaubatz 1L Moot Court Tournament. In March, he will compete at the ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition taking place in Boston.
McNamara says that when he heard about the ABA Negotiations Competition, he knew he wanted Bogren to be his partner.
"He's a serious student," said McNamara of his good friend. "And he's confident." He also added that his friend being a really good talker does not hurt either.
They say the cornerstone of their success has been a combination of confidence, focus and the ability to talk on your feet.
"You need to be able to adjust and react," said Bogren. The law students agree that training in quick thinking and agility develops some of the best skills essential for the real world.
"A vast majority of cases are settled out of court," said Bogren, "similar to situations in this competition."