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Trial Advocacy Team reaches semi-finals in Austin

February 26, 2010

From left to right: George McGregor, Tim Yazbeck, Kellie Johnson and Greg Akers.

Two Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Trial Advocacy Teams competed in the Texas Young Lawyers’ Association Competition in Austin, Texas in early February, with one team advancing to the semi-finals.

Students Kellie Johnson and Greg Akers successfully advanced to the semi-finals, coached by recent law graduate, Matthew McLaren, J.D. ’09, and law student Ben Lambert, Trial Advocacy Team president. They competed against law schools at South Texas College, Baylor University and Tulane University. Loyola’s team successfully advanced to the semi-finals alongside the University of Texas.

“Although the team did not win the competition, Loyola’s advocates received great compliments from the judges,” said Lambert. “This was the first time in recent history that Loyola advanced to the semi-finals for this competition.”

The second team, made up of students George McGregor and Tim Yazbeck, competed successfully in the first three preliminary rounds. They faced the University of Houston, Tulane University and Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.

The Trial Advocacy Program, formerly the Board of Advocates/Association of Trial Lawyers of America, was organized in the fall of 1982. The purpose of the Trial Advocacy Program is to prepare students for a smooth transition from the study of law to actual practice. The objectives of this program are educational and practical. The faculty advisor for the program is Bill Sommers, an adjunct faculty member of the College of Law.

The program focuses on learning by doing with practical instruction, demonstrations, feedback and critique. It teaches students the strategy of a trial and how to conduct themselves in a courtroom setting, how to speak persuasively, conduct direct and cross examinations, prepare and present persuasive opening and closing arguments, proper impeachment, tendering of experts and introduction of evidence.

For more information, contact Lambert at trialad@loyno.edu. For more information on the College of Law, contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5888 or jshields@loyno.edu.

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