Chicago-Kent College of Law Places Second in 2017 National Civil Trial Competition

The Chicago-Kent College of Law trial advocacy team of Kristen Farr Capizzi ’18, Alexis Halsell ’18, Shahina Khan ’18, and Jesse Pollans ’18 finished in second place at the 2017 National Civil Trial Competition, held October 21–22 in California. The invitation-only tournament is designed to provide student litigants with an opportunity to develop and display the skills of a successful civil litigator.


From left: Alexis Halsell, Jesse Pollans, Shahina Khan, and Kristen Farr Capizzi

This year, students argued a wrongful death case involving a teenager who died while celebrating his high school graduation when he stood on the bulkhead of an open-top, double-decker bus to take a picture and hit his head.

Chicago-Kent triumphed over Georgetown University Law Center, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, and American University Washington College of Law in the preliminary rounds and then defeated American again in the semifinal round. In the finals, Chicago-Kent fell to a team from Samford University Cumberland School of Law that won the championship.

Farr Capizzi graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. degree in finance. Halsell completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Oakland University in Michigan. Khan majored in criminology, law, and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Pollans earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The National Civil Trial Competition is hosted by Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Chicago-Kent’s team was coached by alumni and former trial team members Nicholas Economakos ’12, Matthew McCarter ’15, and Michael Zhang ’15.

Chicago-Kent’s trial advocacy teams have won numerous individual student honors and regional and national competitions. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings, Chicago-Kent’s Trial Advocacy Program is ranked fourth in the country.