Northwestern Law First in National Trial Competition

November 13, 2009

Northwestern University School of Law’s trial team won first place in a national trial competition sponsored by the California Association for Criminal Justice.

This is the second year in a row that the Northwestern team from the Fred Bartlit Center for Trial Strategy has won this competition. The competition included 26 schools, including Stanford Law School, the University of Massachusetts School of Law and the University of Wisconsin Law School.

In the tournament’s five rounds, Northwestern’s first-place team -- Amanda Barrera, Johnny Douglas, Brooke Pyo and Kelsey Vidaillet -- defeated teams from Santa Clara University School of Law, Whittier Law School, Southwestern University School of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law and California Western School of Law. Brooke Pyo was named the outstanding advocate of the competition, ahead of 111 other student lawyers.

The Bartlit Center national trial team consists of eight students selected in a tryout process each October for oral advocacy skills, knowledge of evidence and courtroom presence. The full team also included Laura Babinsky, Rusty O’Kane, Matthew Salerno and team captain Amit Banerji.

Richard Levin and Adam Riback, of the Levin Riback Law Group coached the Northwestern team. Steven Lubet, the Williams Memorial Professor of Law at Northwestern, supervises the Bartlit Center advocacy program.

“This year's success was the result of brilliant coaching and a great group of students," said Lubet. "All eight students prepared together and supported each other every step of the way, in true Northwestern fashion.”

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