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. MSLAW’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. MSLAW 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.
MSLAW’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. MSLAW’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 MSLAW’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 MSLAW’s teams throughout the competition for their impressive advocacy and high level of professionalism. MSLAW 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, MSLAW’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.
Massachusetts School of Law’s Trial Advocacy Team Captures 2nd and 3rd Place in the Northeast Region of the Thurgood Marshall Trial Advocacy Competition.
MSL Student Allison Britton wins Best Advocate in the Northeast.
Massachusetts School of Law’s Trial Advocacy Team captured 2nd and 3rd place in the Thurgood Marshall Trial Advocacy Competition for the Northeast Region of the National Black Law Students Association. In the regional final, MSL’AWs team lost a great match to Harvard by one point. There are three winners for each region and Harvard and two of MSLAW’s teams now advance to the National Finals in Wisconsin with the 15 other winners from the remaining five regions across the United States. MSLAW advances to the National Finals for the fourth year in a row and has sent nine teams to the National Finals in the last 6 years. MSLAW won the Northeast Championship in both 2013 and 2012. MSLAW student Allison Britton was named Best Advocate of the Northeast. The Northeast Region is comprised of the 34 law schools in New England, New York and northern New Jersey.
At this year’s regional competition at Albany, New York, MSLAW defeated other law schools to become the top ranked team after the conclusion of the preliminary rounds of the trials. MSL then sent three teams to the Elite 8 where all its teams defeated their competition to advance to the Final Four. The Final Four saw only two schools still standing—MSLAW and Harvard.
MSL’s team won more awards this year than any other law school in the Trial Advocacy competition. Columbia Law School won the Appellate Moot Court competition. MSLAW’s Advocacy Program is nationally recognized for its effectiveness at training new lawyers and in its success in winning various regional and national awards. In the last five years, MSLAW teams have been national finalists in various advocacy competitions and won numerous awards including New England Trial Advocacy Champions, Northeast Region Trial Advocacy Champions, National Criminal Defense Trial Advocacy semi-finalist, and Northeast Region Trial Advocacy 1st Runner Up. On multiple occasions, MSLAW student advocates have won the Best Oral Advocate Award of the competition they competed in, including Nicole Dion in 2007 and 2008, Allen Woodward in 2009, Paul Stewart in 2010 and Allison Britton this year.
For more information about MSLAW’s Trial Advocacy Program, click here.