A team of law students from Drexel University claimed victory in a national mock trial competition that culminated recently in New Orleans.
The Drexel team of Katrina Mavroudis, Jillian Schroeder, Kelsey Ashworth and Rachel Holt bested a Georgetown University law school squad in a final faux trial held April 3 in an Orleans Parish criminal district courtroom.
More than 800 law students from 140 teams competed in regional competitions before the final 14 made it to New Orleans, said local attorney Maria Glorioso, a co-host for the finals of a competition put on by the American Association for Justice, formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.
Judges then weeded those finalists to the teams from Drexel, in Philadelphia, and Georgetown.
The Drexel team scored best in representing a fictional accident victim in her lawsuit against the owner of a college-town bar accused of over-serving a man on his 21st birthday, before he crashed into the woman as he drove off.
The teams squared off over an elaborate scenario set around a bar featuring cheap booze and shot girls. The Georgetown team represented Max Petunia, owner of the fictional Montana Max’s Good Time Saloon, where the drunk driver had thrown down shots before leaving for his car.
Team members and local attorneys played witnesses at the pretend civil trial, presided over by Criminal District Judge Franz Zibilich.
“A lot of these students are doing this on their own time, not getting school credit for it,” Glorioso said. “Not a lot of schools teach application of these skills. That’s our goal, to add the practical side.”
The winning team earned scholarships, she said.
Lindsey Stearns, Matthew McCarthy, Bill Visone and Haley Etchison made up the Georgetown team that reached the finals.
Each of the four Drexel team members plan to take jobs as prosecutors after law school, Glorioso said.