Posted: November 18th, 2016 | By: Natalie Wilson
Wake Forest Law’s AAJ National Student Trial Advocacy team earned the second highest number of points of all teams at the NBTA Tournament of Champions (TOC) hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in San Francisco on Oct. 20, 2016. The squad garnered a total of 1,058 points out of 1,200 possible through the two days of competition, placing second only to the No. 1 seed, Chicago Kent, with 1,066 points.
Wake Forest Law was one of only 16 schools from across the country invited to compete due to the performance of its teams at the American Association of Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition and TYLA National Trial Competitions over the past three years.
Members from both of Wake Forest’s trial teams, including AAJ Drew Culler (JD ’17), AAJ Mia Falzarano (JD ’17), NTT Brad Simon (JD ’17) and NTT Lauren Stovall (JD ’17), came together and trained for six weeks. Wake Forest won two of four trials, earning seventh place ahead of Stetson, Baylor, Samford, Yale and Harvard. During the first day of the competition, Wake Forest was hailed unanimously by judges and bested two Colorado schools, Baylor and the University of Colorado, by wide, double-digit margins .
The team’s coaches include Professors Mark Boynton (JD ’97), Matthew Breeding (JD ’06), Stephanie Reese (JD ’96) and Katie King (JD ’12), who emphasize the development of practical skill sets that will be valuable in litigation and not just mock trial competitions. According to the coaches, this is demonstrated in the real-world professionalism of the students.
“Every time Wake Forest Law participates in these trial competitions, our students solidify and grow Wake Forest’s reputation for outstanding trial advocacy founded upon superior command of the rules, unwavering professionalism and flat out ‘drop the mic’ courtroom performance,” Professor Boynton said.
“(The team) cared for and supported each other like family and demonstrated not only excellence in trial advocacy but superior character and professionalism,” said Professor Boynton. “Wake Forest students have fought hard for over two decades in these trial competitions, and by striving for consistent excellence, they have won the respect of the law schools across the nation.”