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W&L BLSA Mock Trial Team Wins National Championship

The Black Law Students Association mock trial team from the Washington and Lee University School of Law won the national championship this past weekend at the 2015 National Black Law Students Association Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition.

Team members Ryan Redd ’15L, Emelia Hall-Tuisawau ’16L, Imani Hutty ’15L and Cristina Sacco ’15L, along with student coach Babtunde Cadmus ’15L, made the trip to Portland, Oregon for the competition and national convention. They faced off against the top 18 mock trial teams in the nation, drawn from over 100 teams that competed in six regional competitions.

The Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition takes place over two and half days and includes six rounds of round-robin and single elimination competition. W&L was the only team to remain undefeated through all rounds.

The mock trial team is coached by Prof. Beth Belmont and Andy Budzinski ’10, in addition to Cadmus.

The W&L BLSA moot court team of Richard Zhang ’15L and Ariel Wossene ’16L was among the 18 teams in the nation to qualify for the national finals of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition, also held in Portland. Unfortunately, the team did not advance from the preliminary rounds. Student coach Hernandez Stroud ’15L was invited to return to the competition next year as a judge.

This is only the fourth year teams from W&L have competed in the national BLSA moot court and mock trial competitions. W&L’s BLSA mock trial and moot court teams have advanced to nationals every year since the program’s inception.