California Western’s Competitive Advocacy Program (CAP) teams have closed out the fall competition season with some notable successes.
The California Western Trial team of Elizabeth Hebel (3L), Abrey Zora (3L), Rayna Kim (3L), and Broc Newman (3L) beat out Pepperdine Law and UConn School of Law to place second at the recent California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) National Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition (NCTAC) in San Francisco.
The team heaped praise on their coaches Lindsey Burnette and Taylor Gaines for how well they prepared them.
“They made all the difference, and they instilled confidence in each of us,” said Hebel. “We would not have made it as far as we did without our coaches and our amazing team chemistry. Couldn’t be more thankful for the experience, and we are so proud to bring home some hardware for Cal Western!”
Teammate Rayna Kim, admitted that competing at CACJ had been the best experience of her law school career and echoed Hebel’s praise of their coaches.
“They helped me find my confidence and helped me realize who I am as an advocate,” said Kim. “Every single sleepless night this semester was absolutely worth it because we showed the nation what Cal Western is made of!”
Abrey Zora agreed that the trial team had been her favorite part of law school. “It has taught me how to be an advocate and trial attorney,” said Zora. “It is the most practical training you can get in law school and probably the most beneficial when going into real-life practice.”
CACJ’s annual NCTAC has quickly become known for its excellence, and every year, federal and state judges, as well as some of the most skilled criminal trial lawyers in California, volunteer to judge this competition.
Appreciating the caliber of judges, first-time competitor Broc Newman said, “This was my first competition, and it was full of solid advocates from all across the nation. I’m extremely proud of my team and coaches on what we were able to do in San Francisco!”
The California Western Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Negotiation team of Michelle Kellogg (3L) and Sheldon Coure (3L) tied with Chapman University in fourth place in the recent Regional ABA Negotiation Competition in Utah.
“I am extraordinarily grateful and incredibly proud of my partner, and that I could represent Cal Western in the finals at the ABA’s Regional Negotiation Competition,” said Kellogg. “We would not have made it without the support of our incredible teammates and dedicated coaches.”
The ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition provides a means for law students to practice and improve their negotiating skills. The competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems.
“Making it to an ABA negotiation final is something sought after by many law schools,” said Coure. “The fact that my partner and I were able to make it to the finals in our first competition together is surreal.”
Krista Walker (2L), Moot Court Honors Board CEO, praised the teams for their successes, acknowledging the massive amount of hard work put in by the competitors and their coaches.
“They all worked really hard and crushed it in their respective competitions,” said Walker. “I am so proud of our teams!”
Recognizing the achievements of both teams and their coaches, Faculty Program Advisor Mario Conte said, “I could not agree more with Krista’s comments. Both the teams and their coaches were exemplary competitors for California Western, upholding our tradition of producing fierce competitors and profession-ready advocates who go on to become great attorneys.”
For more information on California Western’s Competitive Advocacy Program, go here.