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Trial Advocacy team reaches semi-finals in Chicago

April 9, 2010

left to right: Dante Butler, Karina Perez, Nia Weeks and Ryan Higgins

Loyola’s Trial Advocacy team finished as a semi-finalist in the ABA National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition hosted by John Marshall Law School in Chicago, March 25-27.

Team members Karina Perez, Nia Weeks, Ryan Higgins and Dante Butler earned the right to compete in the ABA event because of their victory in the ABA Criminal Trial Advocacy event held at Quinnipiac University Law School last fall. The team was coached by third-year law student Thomas Sanderson and advised by Loyola adjunct law professor William Sommers.

Loyola’s advocates won every judge’s ballot in the three preliminary rounds and Weeks earned a perfect score in the first round. Loyola lost the semi-final round by a mere five points to the 2008 champions, Barry University.

By virtue of their success in Chicago this year, Loyola’s team earned an automatic bid to return to the ABA event in the spring of 2011 in Chicago.

“These four students, once again, brought honor and national recognition to the Loyola College of Law and its trial advocacy program,” Sommers said.

The Trial Advocacy Program, formerly the Board of Advocates/Association of Trial Lawyers of America, was established in 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 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 Benjamin Lambert, Trial Advocacy president, at trialad@loyno.edu.

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