Chicago-Kent Wins the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law’s Regional Trial Advocacy Competition


From left: Gus Hernandez ’16, Haley Jenkins ’16, Adele Rapport, the Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer, Joseph E. Tilson, Mohini Lal ’16 and John Higgins ’16 (Photo courtesy of Nicholas Economakos ’12)

Gus Hernandez, John Higgins, Haley Jenkins and Mohini Lal—third-year students at Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech—have won the Midwest regional tournament of the 12th annual Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition, sponsored by the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law. The competition took place November 14 and 15, in Chicago.

After defeating a team from Northwestern in the semifinal round, Chicago-Kent prevailed against the University of Pittsburgh to win the regional competition. The Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois presided over the final round.

The competition is designed to introduce law students to the challenges and rewards of employment and labor law litigation. Chicago-Kent will join winning teams from seven other regions to compete for the national title January 23 and 24, 2016, in New Orleans.

Team member Gus Hernandez received a degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. John Higgins completed his undergraduate education at Western Michigan University with a degree in criminal justice. Haley Jenkins completed her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mohini Lal earned a degree in social sciences at Shimer College.

The team was coached by Chicago-Kent alumni Nicholas Economakos ’12, Laurel Martinez ’15 and Heather Widell ’12 and adjunct professor Lance Northcutt. Economakos and Widell were members of the Chicago-Kent team that won the regional competition in 2010.