IIT Chicago-Kent to Compete in National Trial Competition Regional Tournament

From left, Justin Haber, Emily Aleisa, Valerie Raedy and Jordan Lebovitz will represent IIT Chicago-Kent in the 2013 National Trial Competition's Region 8 tournament in Valparaiso, Indiana.

The IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law team of Emily Aleisa, Justin Haber, Jordan Lebovitz and Valerie Raedy will represent the law school in the National Trial Competition’s (NTC) Region 8 tournament February 7 to 9 in Valparaiso, Indiana.

The National Trial Competition, established in 1975 by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, is the one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in the United States. The tournament is designed to encourage and strengthen law students’ advocacy skills and provide them with valuable interaction with judges and attorneys. The competition is co-sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Association.

IIT Chicago-Kent will compete against law school teams from Illinois and Indiana in the regional tournament, with the top two teams advancing to the national competition to be held April 3 to 7 in San Antonio. In 2011, IIT Chicago-Kent students were national finalists and won the best oral advocate award. In 1988, 2007 and 2008, IIT Chicago-Kent won national championships.

Team member Emily Aleisa is a third-year student who graduated cum laude from the University of West Florida with a degree in communications. Teammate Justin Haber, also a third-year student, earned degrees in creative writing and business administration from Emory University.  Teammate Jordan Lebovitz is a third-year student who graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in political science. (Lebovitz was a member of the IIT Chicago-Kent team that won the 2012 National Ethics Trial Competition.) Teammate Valerie Raedy is a second-year student who graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in government and music from Lawrence University and Conservatory.

The team is coached by David A. Erickson, a retired Illinois Appellate Court justice and the director of IIT Chicago-Kent’s Trial Advocacy Program, along with adjunct professors David Lavin and Patricia Sudendorf and IIT Chicago-Kent alumni Nicholas Caputo ’01, Lindsay Gephardt ’12, Erik Wilson ’12 and Karolina Zielinska ’11. (Gephardt and Wilson represented IIT Chicago-Kent in the 2012 regional and national tournaments.)

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is celebrating “125 years of distinctive legal education.” IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. In 2008, IIT Chicago-Kent became the first law school to win both the National Trial Competition and the National Moot Court Competition in the same year. The most recent U.S. News and World Report ranks IIT Chicago-Kent’s trial advocacy program among the top five in the country.