CWRU law school mock trial team wins awards

Ibtesam Ghazy, Staff Reporter

On Feb. 7-10, the Case Western Reserve University School of Law moot court team took first place at the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Chicago. In addition, four of the members of the team earned the top 10 speaker award for the first time in CWRU School of Law’s history. Around 680 law schools from 100 different countries are involved in this competition, and it is considered to be the largest Moot Court competition in the world.

For a mock trial, students from teams across the United States take on the roles of lawyers and witnesses for a civil or criminal case provided by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). CWRU Mock Trial was founded in 2001 and advanced to the National Championship Tournament in 2011.

Oralist Taylor Frank, who won third best speaker, joined the moot court team during her first year of law school and emphasized the team bond between the speakers.

“You get really close with your teammates when you have to travel for competition,” she said. “Even though it’s an individual competition for the most part, it’s nice to have good people to debrief with after the rounds.”

Members of the mock trial team develop a close bond with their teammates. This bond means alumni tend to be very involved, and several have coached the program throughout the years, while others return frequently to judge at the Spartan Throwdown or to give advice.

Michael Scharf, one of the alumni that coached the International Law Moot Court Competition, participated in the Jessup Competition as a law student and found it a wonderful educational experience.

He stated, “I have been coaching our Jessup International Law Moot Court Team for 17 years, since I arrived at Case Western Reserve University. I love the opportunity to work closely with students, and have continued to coach on weekends when I’m not busy Deaning.”

We have made it to the final round or won nationals 8 times in the last 15 years, and we won the World Championship in 2018,” said Scharf.

According to the CWRU School of Law, second-year law student Andrea Shaia won ninth best speaker, second-year law student Megan Maccallum won fifth best speaker, third-year law student Taylor Frank won third best speaker and third-year law student Alex Lilly won second best speaker in the competition.

The competition has helped these students learn international law while developing their confidence, their ability to think on their feet and their oral argument skills.