BLSA Mock Trial team wins National Championship

BLSA Mock Trial Winners 2024 pictured in the hotel holding their trophy

The law school’s Black Law Student Association Mock Trial team (composed of 3L Aanya Myrie-Sylburn, 2L Yaninna Sharpley-Travis, 1L Lydia Abraham and 1L Jordyn Dawson) took first place in the 2024 National BLSA Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition, winning every round they competed in. The team placed second in the competition last year and has placed third in the past, but this is their first national championship since the competition commenced 18 years ago. 

This year, 59 teams competed throughout the country. Prior to nationals, the competition was whittled down to 18 total teams, all of which competed on the first day. The Case Western Reserve team of Abraham and Dawson beat Emory University in round 1. Myrie-Sylburn and Sharpley-Travis went head to head against University of Wisconsin in the second preliminary round before advancing to face Stetson University in the quarterfinals. 

The semi finals were a tough matchup with the Case Western Reserve team of Myrie-Sylburn and Sharpley-Travis going up against Yale University. Abraham and Dawson then took on the University of Alabama in the finals, ultimately winning the competition.

“Professor Russell and I are incredibly proud of our students,” said coach Russell Tye. “As professors and coaches, our hearts were exceptionally warmed when observing our students rise to the occasion by using their god-given talent, training and hard work while competing at the highest level. Our commitment to excellence and diligence made all the difference.”

“The team, which includes the previously mentioned competitors as well as 2L Jayda Rogers, 2L Obasi Ndukuve, 1L Caren Teague and 1L Massiagbe Traore, are true champions without question. The entire class of students are all champions because without their assistance, hard work, support and commitment to excellence, our team would have never prevailed. As adjunct professors, we are blessed, honored and elated to share this unforgettable achievement with such a superbly gifted group of students! ”

The team would like to give thanks and appreciation to School of Law deans Avi Cover and Laura McNally, BLSA faculty advisor Ayesha Hardaway, CWRU School of Law BLSA president Candace Williams and a host of CWRU law school friends and students who helped us practice, played jurors and endured our countless scrimmages.