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National Trial Team advances to quarter-final round of national competition

The Comerford & Britt National Trial Team competed in the National Trial Competition April 6-10 in Houston, Texas.

After knocking off teams from Stanford University and Yale University in the preliminary rounds, the trio of Kelly Beth Smith (’11), Charlie Mellies (’11) and Matthew McClellan (’12) advanced to the Elite 8. The team then lost a close match to Northwestern University, who would go on to win the entire competition.

“Every member of the team put in hundreds of hours of hard work and long nights, including sacrificing part of spring break, to prepare for the National Competition,” said Stephanie Reese (’96), one of the team’s coaches.

The National Competition was one of the largest fielded to date. More than 200 teams representing approximately 150 schools initially entered at the regional level. Following the regional rounds, a total of 28 teams, including Wake Forest, were invited to take part in the National Competition. Mellies, McClellan and Smith earned a spot in the national competition by defeating a team from Emory University to win their regional competition in Charlotte on Feb. 20.

“The success of this year’s team would not have been possible without the contributions of their teammates: Luke MacDowall, Sarah Hayward, Amy Puckett, Leslie Cockrell and Andi Dorfman,” Reese said.

“Mark Boyton (’97), and I are very proud of the hard work of every member of the National Trial Team. They are to be commended for their dedication to excellence and their representation of Wake Forest at every level of the competition.”

Dean Blake Morant commended the team  for an outstanding showing.  “Many thanks indeed for efforts that contribute to the excellence of our law school,” he said.

Other faculty  also offered the team their congratulations.

“I would like to congratulate the team and their wonderful coaches, Stephanie Reese and Mark Boynton, on this outstanding achievement,” said Professor Carol Anderson.

“I want to say congratulations to the team,” said Professor Simone Rose. “Job well done.”