Students Earn Law School Tuition Waivers in Diversity Mock Trial Competition at The John Marshall Law School

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Students from 20 colleges and universities competed for law school tuition waivers at the Ninth Annual National Undergraduate Diversity Mock Trial Competition at The John Marshall Law School. The 60 participants who came to the Chicago law school were assigned to teams, and over two days learned to work collaboratively in presenting a mock trial.

Top students from schools across the country walked away with a minimum of $15,000 each in tuition waivers as prize winners at the Ninth Annual National Undergraduate Diversity Mock Trial Competition at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on April 13 and 14, 2012. The 60 participants from 20 colleges and universities competed for the chance to win law school tuition waivers.

The first place team was Kariette Fleming of Monroe College in New York; Ron Jovi Ramirez of Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.; and Anthony McDaniel of the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC). Each is eligible for a minimum of $15,000 in law school tuition at John Marshall or Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, or $12,000 at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.

Gustavo Hernandez, a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), is eligible for as much as $18,000 in law school tuition after being named best advocate and a team member on the fourth place team. McDaniel of UMKC won $21,000 in law school tuition after being named 3rd best advocate and a team member on the first place team. Winning students can apply their awards to their tuition in varying amounts at John Marshall, Southwestern, or Suffolk.

The top four individual winners were Hernandez of UIC; Jennifer Rieger of North Central College; McDaniel of UMKC; and Angela Scheufler of Elgin Community College.

“In keeping with the spirit of our competition, students are assigned to teams at the beginning of the competition, so that every team reflects diversity,” said John Marshall Associate Dean for Diversity and Outreach Rory Smith, who serves as the competition organizer.

During the two-day competition, students argued an excessive force case which describes the events that occurred at a fictional “Occupy Marshall” protest.

“After the first day, we had eight of the 22 teams advance,” Smith explained. “It was a very exciting competition. The rounds were highly competitive and there were a number of upsets among the eight seeded teams as they competed against each other for team prizes. It was an exhilarating competition for the students and the judges.”

The second place team was Thaddeus Brooks of Mississippi Valley State University; Lanette Green of LeMoyne-Owen College; and Cary Hansing of Lewis University. The third place team was Sara Morgan of Lewis University; Gus Morquecho of Indiana University Northwest and Amber Thomas of Central State University. The fourth place team was Hernandez of UIC; David Thomas of Riverside Community College; and Annie Tran of Curry College.

College awards were presented to the schools which had the top scoring advocates. The Platinum Award went to Lewis University; Gold Award to Robert Morris University; Silver Award to UMKC and Bronze Award to Indiana University.

This year, for the first time, three law schools offered tuition waivers to the winning students. John Marshall, Southwestern, and Suffolk offered between $3,000 and $15,000 to the top four participants and top four teams in the competition. In addition, John Marshall offered $2,000 tuition waivers to students considered to be outstanding advocates throughout the competition.

At the end of the first day of competition, Daryl Parks, president of the National Bar Association, and a partner at Parks and Crump Law Firm in Tallahassee, Fla., as well as counsel for the parents of Trayvon Martin, spoke to the students about the importance of doing well and making connections at all levels of school. “Building relationships that can help you develop a lasting network is of paramount importance and begins now,” said Parks.

Student competitors came to John Marshall after participating in various regional Undergraduate Mock Trial Competitions held during the 2011-2012 academic year, including the Midwest Regional in Chicago; Southeastern Regional in Nashville; Northeast Regional in Boston; Florida Regional in Miami; Southwest Regional in Los Angeles; Nevada Regional in Las Vegas; and Mid-Atlantic in Virginia.

The colleges and universities represented were California State University at Dominguez Hills; Carroll University; Central State University; Chicago State University; Curry College; Elgin Community College; Indiana University; Indiana University-Northwest; LeMoyne-Owen College; Lewis University; Loyola University-Chicago; Millikin University; Mississippi Valley State University; Monroe College; North Central College, Riverside Community College; Robert Morris University; Roosevelt University; Tennessee State University; the University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Western Illinois University.

About The John Marshall Law School

The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school serving more than 1,500 students at its Chicago Loop location in the heart of the city’s legal, financial and commercial districts. John Marshall offers the nation’s only graduate Employee Benefits Program. Its program in Information Technology and Privacy Law remains the only graduate law program in the country that emphasizes privacy as part of its core curriculum.

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Marilyn Thomas
John Marshall Law School
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