Massachusetts School of Law Trial Advocacy Team finishes in the Top 10 in the Country at the National NBLSA Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition in Wisconsin
Massachusetts School of Law’s Trial Advocacy team, the winners of 2nd and 3rd place in the Northeast Region of the Thurgood Marshall Trial Advocacy Competition, finish in the top ten in the country at the 2014 National Finals in Wisconsin after losing to National Champion Florida State University Law School in the semifinal match. MSL’s team was outstanding throughout the three days of highly competitive matches that paired the top 18 teams in the country to see which school had the country’s preeminent Trial Advocacy Program. MSL was only one of two law schools in the country that qualified two teams for the National Finals and the only school in the country that saw both its teams advance to Round III at the National Finals defeating teams from the various regional winners of the Trial Advocacy Competition.
MSL’s Trial Advocacy Team displayed great advocacy skills at the national finals of the 2014 Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Advocacy Competition of the National Black Law Students Association. MSL’s team had previously won 2nd and 3rd place for the Northeast region. The Northeast region is comprised of the 33 law schools in New England, New York and northern New Jersey. The three winners from the six regions competed for the national championship, held this year in Wisconsin. The other participating regional winners included Harvard Law School, Loyola University Law School, University of Washington School of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law, University of Hawaii School of Law, and the ultimate National Champion Florida State University School of Law.
Team members participating at the National Finals were Caryl M. Garcia, Hadler Charles, Poonam Choythani, Calvin G. Carrasco, Jessica L Edwards, Allison Britton, Jason Herron, and Jonathan Etesse. Associate Dean Michael L. Coyne, Professor Daniel Harayda, Professor Darius Greene, and Essex County Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Gillespie coach MSL’s Trial Advocacy team.
The National Finals involved federal drug conspiracy and weapons charges. The case had complex and technical evidentiary and constitutional issues that the students addressed by arguing pretrial motions and then presenting the case to a jury. The trials brought together the top advocates from the top trial advocacy programs in the United States to compete for the prestigious National Championship. The trial judges applauded MSL’s teams throughout the competition for their impressive advocacy and high level of professionalism. MSL teams prosecuted and defended the cases as the rounds progressed.
In praising the team’s performance, Dean Coyne said, “Mastering the law and the art of advocacy requires a deep commitment by students, faculty, and administration. That our Advocacy Program could accomplish so much both at the regional and national level this year is a tribute to our student’s intelligence and commitment to unparalleled excellence in law. For our team to excel against the top advocacy programs in the United States makes us especially proud. Their accomplishments over the last 10 years at various regional and national advocacy competitions is impressive and a tribute to their intelligence, work ethic and determination.”
In the last five years, MSL’s teams have won the highly competitive Northeast Region of the Thurgood Marshall Trial Advocacy Competition three times including back-to-back championships in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 and sent eight teams to the National Finals finishing as high as 3rd and 4th place in the country in that period.
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