Mock Trial Team Prepares for Regionals
December 11, 2018
The six top students from Lewis & Clark’s Moot Court: Mock Trial course have been chosen to represent the Lewis & Clark Law School in the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) Mock Trial Regionals held in Salt Lake City from February 7-9.
“The top six students are invited to join our Competition Team to represent Lewis and Clark. This is the hardest part, winnowing six from an excellent and deserving pool. Whether they make the team or not, every student is a better lawyer having developed their oral advocacy skills,” said Simon Whang, deputy attorney for the City of Portland and adjunct professor at the law school. Whang teaches the class and coaches the team with criminal defense attorney Ed Kroll of Kroll & Johnson, P.C.
The team, composed of Samantha Erwin, Perry Kantor, Andrew Linden, Kelci Schmidt, Silvia Badea, and Helen Lee, have spent the semester learning every aspect of trial from case theory and theme, opening statements and closing arguments, and direct and cross examinations of witnesses in the mock trial course.
“We were impressed by the incredible dedication and work of the students. In our end-of-class competition at the Multnomah County Courthouse, sometimes awkward students blossom into fiercely talented advocates,” Whang said. “It’s inspiring to see students tap deep wells of strength and talent, and shine. They realize how good they can be.”
At a highly competitive Regionals last year, Lewis & Clark advanced to the finals but just barely missed the cut to Nationals. Whang is confident in the team’s capabilities and is optimistic that the tides will turn in their favor this year.
Whether or not the team progresses to Nationals, the practice skills that the students learn are invaluable. “Many students say this is the best law school experience they’ve had,” Whang said.