Mock trial teams compete in Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

Competing nationally for the first time since the mock trial program was established, members of Elon Law's Student Advocacy Board recently traveled to Tennessee and Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Trial Competition (NTC) and the Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC), respectively, earning high marks from competition judges and faculty.

Students on the Student Advocacy Board are selected to compete at the trial competitions. The teams extensively prepare their cases and practice trying them before competing nationally.

Professor Patricia Perkins is the Board’s faculty advisor and served as a coach for the NTC team, while Kenneth Rotenstreich of Teague, Rotenstreich, Stanaland, Fox & Holt, PLLC was the coach for the STAC team. Camilla DeBoard (L’10), also of Teague, Rotenstreich, Stanaland, Fox & Holt, PLLC acted as interim-coach for the civil section while in D.C.

The NTC, created in 1975, is put on by the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) and the American College of Trial Lawyers. The competition is designed to expose law students to trial practice and to develop their advocacy skills. The NTC team participated in the regional competition in Memphis, Tennessee, from February 17-19.

Perkins accompanied the team to Tennessee, noting that the team participated in three rounds while in Memphis and performed well.

“I am impressed by the commitment and level of preparation of our teams this year,” said Perkins. “They have developed into outstanding trial advocates. It is exciting to watch them in the courtroom.”

The tournament was hosted by the Memphis School of Law in the historic Shelby County Courthouse in Memphis, TN.

“We were all able not only to improve upon our understanding of courtroom procedure and parlance, but also to grow individually on a variety of mediums such as team work, leadership, and cultural development,” said Mock Trial Competition Team member Michael Koeltzow ’13.

The STAC is an annual trial competition sponsored by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and serves as an opportunity for law students across the country to develop and practice their trial advocacy skills in front of members of the bar and bench. The STAC team participated in the regional competition, held March 1-4 in Washington, D.C.

The STAC team participated in three rounds, which took place in the District of Columbia Superior Court, located in the Moultrie Courthouse. The team won one of the rounds and received great feedback from the attorneys who acted as judges for the competition.

“You all impressed me a great deal,” said Attorney Gene Miller, who works in state and federal court in Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, D.C. and who served as the presiding judge in the third round. “You are as good, if not better, than most attorneys I’ve seen.”

Current members of the Student Advocacy Board are:

Robert Garner
Dustin Gill
Karima Grady
Michael Koeltzow
Gwendolyn Lewis
Austin Morris
Joshua Neilson
Simon O’Brien
Jacob Pryor
Matthew Schantz
Kaitlin Shimansky
Ashley Smith
Ryan Spencer
James Stanton
Mark Wilson
Katherine Youngblood

An announcement regarding selection for next year’s Student Advocacy Board will be sent to Elon Law students in the coming weeks.

By Ashley Smith ‘12