The Harvard Law School mock trial team of Kaitlyn Beck ’19, Haydn Forrest ’19, Rahul Garabadu ’19, and Marilyn Robb ’18 took Fifth Place at the National Student Trial Advocacy Competition March 30–April 2 in Cleveland, OH.
Sixteen teams from fourteen regions competed at the national competition. Harvard Law School earned their spot in the national arena when they won the Boston regional competition — finishing undefeated with a 15-0 record. During the national competition, Harvard advanced to the quarterfinals, having faced teams from Baylor Law School, Tulane University Law School, Wake Forest University School of Law, and Chicago-Kent College of Law. Wake Forest took home the national title.
This is the first time in Harvard history that a team has advanced beyond the regional phase to rank nationally in the competition. Marilyn Robb and Rahul Garabadu were both nominated for Best Advocate awards during their preliminary rounds.
Sponsored by the American Association for Justice, the National Student Trial Advocacy Competition is an annual nationwide mock trial competition. Participants on four-member teams are judged on their skills in case preparation, opening statements, use of facts, the examination of lay and expert witnesses, and closing arguments.
The team’s success marks the second time in two years that the Harvard Law School Mock Trial Association has earned a national finish at a prestigious trial advocacy competition. Last year, Amanda Mundell ’17 and Joe Resnek ’17 won the national championship of the National Trial Competition. The Mock Trial Association was founded last year. With 24 active members participating in competitions this year, the organization has grown threefold in just one year. The group hopes to compete in a similar range of tournaments next year, including the National Trial Competition and the National Student Trial Advocacy Competition.