UIC MOCK TRIAL TEAM PLACES IN NATIONAL COMPETITION
Representing the fictional state of Midlands and a defendant accused of killing his best friend, the University of Illinois at Chicago mock trial team finished third in the National Intercollegiate Mock Trial Tournament.
"This is the highest we have ever placed in the national tournament, which shows the talent and dedication of the students on this year's team," said Richard Johnson, professor of political science and mock trial team supervisor. "The department is proud of the team because this feat is the culmination of months of hard work."
The UIC mock trial team is a member of the American Mock Trial Association, which is an organization that provides undergraduate students an opportunity to gain a better insight into the judicial system, while enhancing critical thinking and communication skills. The association provides its 250 member schools fictitious case materials so that students can learn the intricate skills of trial advocacy by assuming the roles of attorneys and witnesses in mock civil and criminal cases. Each team competes in a regional tournament. Only the top five from each region advance to the national competition.
"We finished with a 6:2 record," said team member Nicholas Gowen. "We also attribute our success to the team's dedication and desire to excel, which has been considered an oddity because we are one of the few teams in the country managed primarily by students."
This year's cocaptains are Gowen, from Chicago's South Side, and Robyn Haynes, from Naperville, who are seniors and fourth-year members. Team member Carrie Fino from Oak Lawn is a senior and third-year member. This was the first year competing for the rest of the team, which includes juniors Timothy Fitzgerald from Wheaton and Paul Garbis from Naperville, sophomores Steven Jubera from Chicago's North Side and Adriel Samaan from Carol Stream, and freshman Jennifer Holder from Sioux City, Iowa.
Gowen received a prestigious All-American Attorney Award for ranking third-best attorney in the overall competition.
With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area. UIC is home to the largest medical school in the United States and is one of only 88 national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the area.
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