Fifteen Clark University students making up two Mock Trial teams traveled to Manchester, New Hampshire, recently to compete in the regional Intercollegiate Mock Trial Tournament held at St. Anselm’s College. Two of these students returned to campus toting awards. Both Rory C. Coursey ’13 and Miguel A. Lara ’15 won Best Witness Awards at the tournament. Coursey also took home the Best Attorney Award, making her the only student at the tournament to win both awards. According to Clark alumnus Steven C. Kennedy '88, a practicing attorney and trial lawyer who coaches the Mock Trial team, it was “quite an accomplishment given the level of competition.” Professor Mark Miller, director of Clark’s Law and Society Program, said, “We are all very proud of these two excellent students and all of their hard work on the mock trial teams. It is extremely rare for the same student to win both a Best Attorney Award and a Best Witness Award at a single tournament. All of the students on these two teams should be congratulated for their strong efforts.”
Clark’s A Team lost to the eventual #2 team at the tournament from Brandeis University and to the eventual #8 team at the tournament from Dartmouth College. They defeated a team from UMass – Lowell, and split ballots with a team from the University of New Hampshire. The Clark A Team finished with a 3-5 record, although they had a very tough strength of schedule. Clark’s novice B Team finished with a 2-5-1 record, defeating a team from UMass – Lowell, but losing or tying with teams from UMass – Amherst, Trinity College (CT), and Brandeis University. In the intercollegiate mock trial competition, students role play lawyers and witnesses and are judged on their persuasiveness and ability to analyze arguments. Clark team members take a course in Trial Advocacy in the fall, taught by Kennedy.
Clark has fielded intercollegiate mock trial teams for many years, and in the past has often hosted the regional tournament.