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CWSL Completes Spring Intraschool Competitive Advocacy Competitions

Apr 25 2024
Legal Writing Professor Emeritus Roberta "Bobbie" Thyfault addresses students in CWSL's Competitive Advocacy Program at this year's CAP banquet.
Legal Writing Professor Emeritus Roberta "Bobbie" Thyfault addresses students in CWSL's Competitive Advocacy Program at this year's CAP banquet.

SAN DIEGO (April 25, 2024) – With spring classes and exams completed, California Western School of Law (CWSL) students are looking back with pride on the three intraschool competitive advocacy competitions they participated in this semester. 

The Spring competitions included: 

The annual Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Negotiation competition, organized by the Moot Court Honors Board and the National Champion ADR team, coaches, and alumni, in which students negotiate in teams of two against each other;

The Conte Cup, CWSL’s new Opening Statement Competition, was created to give 1L’s the opportunity to try their hand at competitive advocacy; and

The resurrected and newly title Bobbie Thyfault Appellate Competition, named for the beloved Professor Emerita Roberta "Bobbie" Thyfault, who has been a fixture in the school’s Competitive Advocacy Program (CAP) for 20 years, as Director of Legal Skills and as a coach of the Jessup International Law Moot Court team.

For each of the competitions, students receive mentoring from students on CWSL’s National Championship teams, from alumni and other local attorneys and judges. The competitions are also judged by attorneys and judges, giving students real-world experience in trial advocacy and the chance to receive critical feedback from seasoned legal professionals. 

Paul Parisi ’06, the Director of CAP, was effusive in his praise for all of the competitors, finalists, and winners: “Our teams will have some extremely skilled students trying out for the squads over the coming months. I can’t wait to see what they all accomplish in the future!” 

In her remarks to students in the final rounds of the competitions, CWSL President and Dean Sean Scott reminded students that during their three years on campus they would be “be challenged to think critically and develop the skills needed to be effective lawyers. By participating in this competition, you have shown your willingness and ability to rise to the aspirational challenges we set for you.”

CAP’s commitment to excellence has propelled the program to national recognition, consistently securing championship titles and ranking 6th in the nation over the past five years. CAP students’ recent noteworthy accomplishments include clinching the National Championship in the ABA Negotiation Competition in 2021 and 2023, Regional Championships from 2021 to 2023, and various accolades in prestigious moot court competitions in Southern California and around the country. 

The winners of the ADR Negotiation Championship were Natalie Thomas and Kendall Decker, with the team of Ryan Rousta and Joshua Goodmacher coming in second place. The judges also named the following students as Distinguished Advocates: Juhi Bhakta, Sierra Henrichsen, Lauren Koger, Joshua Goodmacher, Natalie Thomas, and Kendall Decker.

In the Bobbie Thyfault Appellate Competition, Ryan K. Jensen came in 1st place, Jordan Davis in 2nd, and Cruz Salas in 3rd. The judges were so impressed by all of the finalists that they presented each of them with Distinguished Advocacy Awards. Finalists included: Samuel Garson 2L, Dylan Carrigan, Samuel Garson, Michelle Helbig, Lauren Koger, Jonathan Levy, and Raymond Vasquez.

The Conte Cup winners were: Connie Pasha (1st), Madison Motsenbocker (2nd), and Anne Kira Skowron (3rd), with Honorable Mention going to Bailey Mejia. The judges commented that it was one of the highest competition levels of talent that they have seen and rewarded Distinguished Advocacy Awards to all twelve finalists, Brandon Reese Castro, Tanner Hoyle, Ryan Jensen, Connie Pasha, Samuel Pirrozi, Ashlyn Plant, Jordan Smith, Diana Wong, and Sadaam Yousufzai

The scoring judge from the District Attorney’s office was so impressed that she announced she would reopen interviews for paid 2L internships for any of the 12 finalists. Professor Parisi commented that “Competitive advocacy is not only great training for litigation but can open employment doors as well!” 

To learn more about CWSL’s prestigious Competitive Advocacy Program, click here