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Future Trial Attorney Greg Laux Finds Moot Court to be a Great Training Ground

March 30 marks the start of the 25th Annual August A. Rendigs, Jr. National Products Liability Moot Court Competition, a special event for the Moot Court Program and the College of Law. The two-day event will also mark the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work for Greg Laux ’12, the Rendigs Competition Director. Since the first day after last year’s competition, Laux has been planning and coordinating this year’s event.

“I did a lot of work last spring, a lot of work in the summer, a ton of work in the fall and this spring has kind of been a whirlwind too,” Laux said.

While the Rendigs Competition has had up to 30 teams in years past, only 15 teams participated in last year’s event. “I took that on as a personal challenge,” Laux said. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen a decreasing number of teams that have attended the competition the last several years, and I really wanted to reverse that trend.”

After selecting a date for the 2012 competition, Laux began booking and negotiating contracts with hotels, planning a dinner banquet, recruiting attorneys and judges to serve as competition judges, while also trying to attract teams to attend the competition.

“Last year’s Moot Court Board sent out email recruitments. Emails are easy to ignore and easy to delete,” Laux said. “What I did this year was have everyone send emails, but also follow up with personal phone calls to the law schools (and Moot Court directors).”

This year, 22 teams from 17 different law schools will travel to Cincinnati for the competition. This includes teams from the Mississippi College School of Law and the South Texas College of Law (which sent last year’s winning and second-place teams, respectively), as well as newcomers from the likes of Nevada-Las Vegas and New Hampshire.

Laux joined Moot Court a year ago, after transferring from NKU’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law. With his interest in becoming a trial attorney and doing litigation, it seemed like a perfect fit when he was extended an invitation to join last fall.

The 1999 College of William & Mary graduate was attracted to appellate advocacy for two major reasons. First, he commented, he has found the trend where judges establish tests and principles for future cases, as opposed to making decisions solely based on disputed facts in individual cases, to be very interesting. Second, he appreciates how Moot Court “combines both writing and advocacy at a very high level.”

The Road to Cincinnati

Laux’s pathway to Moot Court, but more specifically his journey to Cincinnati and the College of Law, is unique. He was born in Louisville, Ky., but his family moved to Arkansas at a young age. His father’s work at a Reynolds Metals aluminum factory also took the Laux family to Texas, back to Arkansas and then to Virginia – where most of his family still lives today.

While Laux considers Arkansas home, he did go to college at the Williamsburg, Va.-based William & Mary, where he majored in political science and philosophy. Upon graduating, Laux found work with the Justice Department in Washington D.C., and worked in a grants program office, where he helped distribute block grants and discretionary grant money to state and local police departments and fire departments.

After five years in that role, and then a stint on Capitol Hill with the House Appropriations Committee, Laux began work as a volunteer fire fighter on the side. “It was really rewarding work,” Laux said. “I liked being able to help people in a direct way. People call 9-1-1 when they don’t have anywhere to turn and don’t know what to do. I liked being able to solve people’s problems on the spot.”

Laux was later hired as a firefighter near Richmond, Va., and he worked for two different fire departments over the next five years. He later quit his job and came to Cincinnati, after his girlfriend at the time (now wife) began a residency program in emergency medicine at University Hospital.

After working “a few odd jobs,” Laux opted to attend law school, something he once considered pursuing straight from undergrad.

UC Law and Beyond

Since transferring from Chase, Laux has had more than a full plate, even joking that he has “probably over-extended” himself the last two years. For example, in addition to his high involvement with Moot Court, Laux is a Westlaw student representative, a BARBRI student representative, and editor-in-chief of the Immigration and Nationality Law Review.

Laux additionally works about 20 hours each week at Wood & Lamping LLP, where he began clerking last summer. The busy 3L also helps out with the Student Ambassador Program, specifically talking with and giving tours to prospective “nontraditional” students who similarly have worked several years since getting their undergraduate degree. “The admissions office likes to pair me up with those folks and just give them a realistic perspective of what law school is like and why UC Law would be a great place for them,” he said.

Laux, now in his fifth year in Cincinnati, said he and his wife “love” living here. In what little free time he does have, Laux enjoys spending it with her, whether that involves running, traveling, attending shows at the Aronoff Center, “vicariously” rooting for Duke basketball (her alma mater), or cheering on the Bengals and attending Reds games.

After graduation and taking the bar, the avid baseball fan is also wanting to learn Mandarin Chinese and further hopes to become “more heavily involved” in the community. “My wife and I like to volunteer when we have the chance to,” he said. “That’s one thing I want to get into more.” For now, the Rendigs Competition, work, other activities and, yes, classes, will continue to keep Laux quite busy.

By Jordan Cohen, ’13