St. Mary’s University School of Law is sending separate teams to compete in two national mock trial tournaments in March after successfully competing in regional competitions.

For the second time in four years, a team of third-year law students at St. Mary’s University School of Law won the regional tournament of the National Mock Trial Competition, sending them to the national tournament in Houston, March 28-31. The competition is sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Texas Young Lawyers Association.

And, a Black Allied Law Students Association (BALSA) team of third-year students placed second at the Rocky Mountain Regional competition of the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition, propelling them to the national competition in Atlanta, March 21-25. It is the second consecutive year St. Mary’s has fielded a team at the national competition.

At the 32nd National Mock Trial Regional Competition at Louisiana State University, St. Mary’s students Jessica Baruc, Rebecca Lively and Brian Lewis defeated a team from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in the final round to claim victory in the regional competition.

Additionally, a second team consisting of Hailey Mullican and Scott Davis reached the semifinal round before losing by a single point on one ballot, said Martin Phipps, adjunct professor and coach of the mock trial teams.

More than 240 teams from law schools around the country attend regional competitions but only the top 16 teams (one each from the 16 regions) are invited to participate in the national finals, Phipps said. The regional competition is composed of law schools from Texas and Louisiana.

“All of these students have been part of the EAP (external advocacy program) mock trial team for the last two years. They have worked extremely hard,” Phipps said.

At the Rocky Mountain Regional competition of the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition in Tulsa, Okla., the St. Mary’s BALSA Mock Trial Team of Marc LaHood, Patricia Aguayo, Keaton Kirkwood, Sonja Sims beat teams from Texas Southern University, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston on their way to the championship round.

The competition included 13 teams from four states – Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.

This is the second year St. Mary’s has competed in this tournament. Last year St. Mary’s won the Rocky Mountain Region and placed fifth at the National Tournament.

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