Harvard Law School hosts regional mock trial competition

Two HLS teams participated in the northeast regional of the National Trial Competition

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Credit: Harvard Mock Trial Association The HLS team of Mike Donohoe ’19, Alexis Wansac ’19 and Travis Leverett ’17 advanced all the way to the final round of the competition only to be defeated by Quinnipiac University School of Law. The team was named Runners Up and Finalists of the New England Regional of the National Trial Competition.

 

Last weekend, Harvard Law School hosted the northeast regional round of the National Trial Competition. The event, which featured 22 teams from 13 New England law schools, is part of the National Trial Competition, the most prestigious law school trial advocacy competition in the country. Two Harvard Law School teams participated in this year’s regional competition.

The two HLS teams faced off against Boston College Law School, Boston University School of Law, New England School of Law, Roger Williams School of Law, Suffolk University Law School, and Yale Law School. The team of Jeff Campbell ’18, Emily Miller ’18, and Helena Wong ’19 advanced to semifinals, ultimately placing sixth.

Another HLS team with Mike Donohue ’19, Travis Leverett ’17, and Alexis Wansac ’19 advanced to the final round of the competition, where they were defeated by Quinnipiac University School of Law.  Quinnipiac and Suffolk University Law School were the top two teams of the Northeast competition and will represent the region at the national competition in Fort Worth, Texas, at the end of March.

Both teams were coached by Amanda Mundell ’17. Last year, Mundell and her partner, Joe Resnek ’17 advanced from a first-place finish in the region to win the national championship, Harvard’s first victory in 40 years. Mundell won the regional competition during her 1L and 2L years.

In addition to coaching both HLS teams, Mundell coordinated all the aspects of hosting the multi-day regional event. Hundreds of students, witnesses, bailiffs, volunteers, and thirty-six fellows from the American College of Trial Attorneys participated in the event.

Co-sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers, the National Trial Competition annually features teams from more than 140 law schools across the country.

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Credit: Harvard Mock Trial Association Jeff Campbell ’18 (above) addresses the jury in closing arguments. Campbell, along with Emily Miller ’18 and Helena Wong ’19 (not pictured) formed one of two HLS teams to participate in the Region 1 competition this year. They advanced to semifinals, ultimately placing sixth.

This is the first time in several years that Harvard has had two teams make it to the regional semifinals.  Last year, Mundell founded the Harvard Law School Mock Trial Association.  With 24 active members participating in five competitions in the last six months, the organization has grown threefold in just one year.  The group hopes to compete in the same number of tournaments next year, including the National Trial Competition.

Dean Minow (left) gets a laugh from Dean of Students Marcia Sells, Jeff Campbell '18, and Alyssa Bernstein '19 during an evening reception at the HLS Pub.

Credit: Harvard Mock Trial Association Dean Minow (left), with Dean of Students Marcia Sells, Jeff Campbell ’18, and Alyssa Bernstein ’19 during an evening reception at the HLS Pub.