Student Team Gets to Finals in National Trial Advocacy Competition
November 27, 2012 – On October 25-28, Cooley students Lou Danner, Jacob Levine, Desiree Shiffler, and Jessica Yarch made it to the final round in the National Trial Advocacy Competition hosted by Michigan State University College of Law. This competition is a prestigious competition and is heavily attended by law schools with powerhouse trial advocacy/national team programs.
This year, 26 teams competed in three preliminary rounds. After facing Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, Barry University College of Law, and University of Houston Law Center, Team Cooley moved to the quarter final round.
In the quarter-finals, Cooley fought through a tough round against Emory University College of Law to get to the semi-final round, where they faced Faulkner University School of Law. During this round, Cooley Professor Tonya Krause-Phelan, coach for the team, reported that the judges commented on the incredible skill level our students displayed and remarked how bright their future careers will be!
Cooley then faced Georgia State College of Law in the final round of the competition. This was a hard-fought and close round. The judges deliberated for approximately 40 minutes before announcing that Cooley placed second. In their comments, the judges stated that it was a narrow decision, adding that they were impressed with the maturity and sophistication with which the Cooley team members displayed their skills.
In this competition, the host provides top-scoring competitors with individual awards. Krause-Phelan announced that Lou Danner received the Best Closing Argument award. "Although I am slightly biased," Krause-Phelan said, "I must say that Lou's closing argument was something to behold."
Krause-Phelan added, "Coaching Lou, Jake, Desiree and Jessica has been an honor and a privilege. The judges were right: These students are gifted, driven and hard-working advocates."
About Cooley Law School: Founded in 1972, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, nonprofit, independent law school accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. Cooley has provided its more than 16,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world. Cooley offers its Juris Doctor program, Joint Degree programs, and Master of Laws programs three times a year with enrollment in January, May and September. Cooley Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and its new campus in Tampa Bay, Florida.