In just North Carolina Central University School of Law’s third year participating in the competition, the Trial Advocacy Board’s three first-year law student (1L) trial teams advanced to the final round for the third straight time — a 100% record of reaching the finals.
But this year’s competition featured a twist: after practicing for six plus hours a day from January 2nd-11th, our Legal Eagles dominated every other school so thoroughly that both of the finalists were from NCCU Law, guaranteeing a first place finish in this competition for the first time in law school history. The only team to beat NCCU Law this year was another team from NCCU Law.
Going into Saturday’s quarterfinals, NCCU had three of the top eight teams: the #1-seed team of Jeannelle Alexander, Emily Custer, Amelia O’Rourke-Owens, and Ernest Roberts; the #2-seed team of Helen Baddour, Stephanie Faris, Jason Howe, and Sonyé Randolph; and the #8-seed team of Molly Brewer, Christina Carter, Jonathan Savage, and Matt Wareham.
Based on bracket-style seeding NCCU was paired up against NCCU in the quarterfinal round, where Team Brewer edged past Team Alexander to advance to the semifinals, while Team Baddour knocked out a group from the University of North Carolina School of Law to advance as well. In the semis, Team Baddour took down a squad from Duke University School of Law while Team Brewer dispatched another team from UNC Law, setting up the second NCCU-vs-NCCU battle in the competition.
Before a packed courtroom with nearly 70 observers (including three deans, seven professors, and dozens of students) prosecution Team Brewer faced off against defense Team Baddour in a highly polished championship match. In a close finish following extensive deliberations by the jury, Team Brewer was declared the winner with Matt Wareham claiming the award for Best Witness and Jonathan Savage taking home the title of Best Advocate.
With 32 teams competing, NCCU Law had just 9.4% of the participants — but 37.5% of the quarterfinalists, 50% of the semifinalists, and 100% of the finalists.
Congratulations to the 1Ls for their incredible success! We look forward to watching them blossom into even stronger advocates over the next two years!