Over the weekend of February 9th, two teams comprised of six Gonzaga Law students participated in the National Trial Competition regionals in San Francisco. The National Trial Competition was established in 1975 to encourage and strengthen students’ advocacy skills through quality competition and valuable interaction with members of the bench and bar. The program is designed to expose law students to the nature of trial practice and to serve as a supplement to their education. It is co-sponsored by Texas Young Lawyers Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers.
One Gonzaga Team Reaches Semi-Finals
The Gonzaga teams did very well, but did not qualify for nationals. Each team participated twice in a full trial, once in the role of prosecution and once as defense. Students were assessed on their opening statements, direct and cross examinations, objections and responses, and closing arguments. In the preliminary rounds, the Red Team was the only team (out of 22) that got unanimous votes from all judges that it won each trial based on the skills assessed.
In the semi-final round, Gonzaga’s team of Ashley Schneider (3L), Jason Johnson (3L) and Stephen Sennett (3L ) faced Stanford. Although our team lost to an extremely talented Stanford team, it was by a narrow margin of 24 points out of 300. Further, the Stanford team, along with a team from Berkley, qualified for nationals.
Getting Involved in National Trial Competition
“I think NTT members would say that being on the team is one of the highlights of their law school experience. It is an opportunity to take what they have learned in their classes and put it into action.
Not only that, but their confidence in the courtroom and in their own abilities grows, and they develop friendships that will last a lifetime.” said Prof. Heidi S. Holland, coach of the team.
If you are interested in being a part of the National Trial team, auditions will occur towards the end of the semester.