Clark’s Mock Trial Team honored for outstanding performance in N.H.; advances to nationals in Washington, D.C.

The Clark University Mock Trial team was awarded an automatic bid to the American Mock Trial Association National Tournament in Washington, D.C., in March, as a result of their outstanding performance at the 2015 Manchester, New Hampshire Regional Tournament at St. Anselm College. The team earned a trophy for Outstanding Trial Team, and finished fourth among 22 teams, only losing to Harvard and two teams from Tufts.

Two of Clark’s teams competed in the regional tournament.

Team #1 finished with a record of 6-1-1 losing only one ballot by a single point. The team faced competitors from Williams College, College of Saint Rose, Amherst College and Fitchburg State University. McKenna Hunter '17 and team co-captain Katharine Courville '16 both won Individual Outstanding Witness awards.

“I am extremely proud of the dedication and accomplishments of everyone on the team,” said Courville. “Everyone has worked very hard both individually and collaboratively to make this happen.”

Clark’s Team #2 was made up entirely of students who were competing in collegiate mock trial for the first time. They faced teams from Bowdoin, University of New Hampshire and Williams College. Team #2 co-captain Carlotta Kane '18 received an Outstanding Witness Award. Kane earned the only perfect score for an individual in the entire tournament. She will be joining Team #1 in Washington D.C.

The Mock Trial teams pose with their awards, along with coach Steven C. Kennedy ’88 (back row, far right). The Mock Trial teams pose with their awards, along with coach Steven C. Kennedy ’88 (back row, far right).

The students attributed their success to a combination of hard work and genuine collaboration.

Emily Art '17 summed up the experience by saying, “Mock Trial is about being in the moment. You never really know what to expect, but all you can do to prepare for the unexpected is to practice, practice, practice, and that's what we did. I could not be more proud of how much time was committed to this and the effort everyone put in.”

Courtney Thomas '17 said, I am so proud of our team and all the time and effort that each person has put in to make this possible. This victory shows that hard work really does pay off, and I couldn't be any happier!”

Team captains Katie Courville ’16 (left) and Valerie Johnson ’15 hold the trophy bid to the Regional Championships. Team captains Katie Courville ’16 (left) and Valerie Johnson ’15 hold the trophy bid to the Regional Championships.

“This team is one of the most well balanced we have placed in tournament competition," said Steven C. Kennedy ’88, a practicing attorney who teaches trial advocacy and coaches the Mock Trial teams at Clark. "While each student is individually talented, their focus throughout the year has been to prepare as a team to compete at a high level. With their determination and unwavering commitment to each other they were able to achieve their goal. It will be a privilege to see them on trial again in Washington, D.C.”

In Mock Trial, teams of students analyze and study a legal case during the course of the academic year. The students assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses and engage in trial simulations in competition with teams from other schools. At a tournament, students are evaluated by a panel of actual attorneys and judges whose scores will determine which teams and individuals gave the best performances.

Students who make up Clark’s 2015 Mock Trial team rosters include:

Team #1: Valerie Johnson '15 (captain), Katharine Courville '16 (captain), Seth Katzman '15, Josh Dell '15, Emily Art '17, McKenna Hunter '17, Courtney Thomas '17, Michael Spanos '17.

Team #2: Carlotta Kane ’18 (captain), Matt Sullivan ’17 (captain), Sarah Maloney '17, Anne-Claire Merkle-Scotland '17, Alex Grayson '18, Simran Jay Totwani '18.

Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.