BLSA Mock Trial Team takes second place at MWBLSA Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition

BLSA Mock Trial Team 2024, pictured holding their plaques.

Last weekend, two of our BLSA Mock Trial teams competed at Midwest BLSA Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition. Team Purple (consisting of 1L Jordyn Dawson, 1L Lydia Abraham, 2L Yaninna Sharpley-Travis and 3L Aanya Myrie Silburn) and Team Black (2L Jayda Rogers, 2L Obasi Ndukuve, 1L Caren Teague and 1L Massiagbe Traore 1L) did a phenomenal job throughout the course of the competition. 

In the semifinals, Team Purple competed against the University of Wisconsin School of Law, winning the round to face Chicago’s Loyola School of Law in the championship. The team took 2nd place overall after a strategic and well-fought battle, with Aanya Myrie-Silburn winning the Best Defense Advocate in the final championship round. Jayda Rogers of Team Black won the Best Prosecutor Award during the preliminary rounds.

Team Purple is now headed to Houston in March to compete in the National Mock Trial Competition. 

The charge in the case was murder in the second degree. A married couple was accused of killing their child and the child's body was found in the basement of the home. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide: asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma. The students played the role of Prosecutor, Defense Attorney, defendants and witnesses.

The problem and fact pattern of this case was particularly difficult and full of complex details, pieces of contested evidence and several witnesses, including the requirement to call a defendant. Mock Trial students showed tremendous dedication to this competition, holding virtual practice sessions from throughout the country during the winter break. Their dedication to learning the facts of the case, as well as legal concepts such as the rules of evidence and criminal procedure—which most of the students were learning for the first time—was unwavering. That dedication came shining through during the Regional competition. 

“We are extremely proud of their diligence,” remarked adjunct professors and coaches Russ Tye and Diane Russell. “And the ability of these students to pivot during the competition. We have witnessed immeasurable growth from both teams in the five months that we have had the honor and privilege of guiding them and look forward to the competition to come.”