March 4, 2010
Renee DeGross Valdes, 404-413-1353
|(Left to right) Law students Erin Schaub, Bob Quinn, Maria Batres and Coach Cheryl Champion-White|
ATLANTA - Georgia State University law students have won two regional championship titles in mock trial competitions and will advance to the national finals in late March.
Georgia State's College of Law Student Trial Lawyers Association won the American Association of Justice (formerly the American Association of Trial Lawyers) regional mock trial competition at the Fulton County Courthouse, taking first and second place on Feb. 28. The competition included 16 teams from eight schools.
The student association also recently won the southeastern regional title National Mock Trial Competition, the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. The competition, held through Feb. 14, featured 26 teams from the Southeast.
"Our team's ability to handle the unexpected ... set us apart from the rest," said College of Law student Maria Batres, who took part in the regional competition of the National Mock Trial Competition.
Will Smith, association president, added, "our team's distinct advantage is having actual practicing attorneys as our coaches."
The student teams were coached by Tom Jones, a GSU adjunct faculty member who began the program in 1985. They were also led by GSU alumni Rebecca Davis of Seyfarth Shaw and Cheryl Champion-White of Champion Legal Services. The program is represented by Anne Emmanuel as faculty advisor.
"It comes down to the students," said Jones, a retired assistant district attorney with Fulton County. "With these two wins, GSU becomes one of the few law schools in the country to win their respective regions in the two premier mock trial competitions in the nation."
Later this month, the College of Law student association advances to the national competitions. The AAJ national mock trials will be in New Orleans. The National Mock Trial Competition is in Dallas.
For more information on Georgia State University's Student Trial Lawyers Association in the College of Law, contact Will Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.