Chicago-Kent College of Law Brings Home two National Appellate Advocacy Awards


Matthew McElwee and Caitlin Ajax

Chicago-Kent College of Law students won the two top advocacy awards at the final rounds of the American Bar Association’s 2016 National Appellate Advocacy Competition, held April 7-9 in Chicago. Caitlin Ajax ’17 won the award for national best oral advocate, and Matthew McElwee ’16 won the award for national second-best oral advocate.

In addition to winning the top advocacy awards, Ajax¬†and McElwee along with teammate David Love ’16 advanced to the semifinals of the competition, opening the national runoff with four straight wins before falling narrowly to the eventual competition champion from St. Mary’s School of Law.

The National Appellate Advocacy Competition draws almost 200 teams, more than any other American moot court competition. Chicago-Kent’s team was coached by third-year student Katie DeBoer.

Chicago-Kent’s Ilana Diamond Rovner Program in Appellate Advocacy, the umbrella program for many of the law school’s moot court activities, was established in 1992. Since then, Chicago-Kent students have won numerous individual honors and regional and national competitions, including consecutive titles in the New York City Bar Association’s National Moot Court Competition.