IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law students Emily Schroeder ’15 and Nicolette Ward ’16 are the winners of the Region Eight championship of the National Trial Competition, the premier trial advocacy tournament in the United States. This is the 24th time in the last 33 years that a team from IIT Chicago-Kent has won the regional championship.
In this year’s competition, students argued a hypothetical criminal case involving charges of domestic violence and first-degree assault. Schroeder and Ward defeated teams from John Marshall, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, and DePaul University during the regional contest held February 5-7 in Chicago. They will go on to compete for the national title Wednesday, March 11 through Sunday, March 15 in Houston. IIT Chicago-Kent won the national championship in 1988, 2007 and 2008.
Schroeder, a third-year student, graduated from Purdue University with an honors degree in political science with minors in history and Italian. Ward, a second-year student, earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Iowa.
The winning IIT Chicago-Kent 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 professor David Lavin and IIT Chicago-Kent alumni Joshua Jones ’08 and Rachel Moran ’08.
The National Trial Competition, established in 1975 by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, is one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in the United States. 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’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, IIT Chicago-Kent’s Trial Advocacy Program was ranked sixth in the country.