IIT Chicago-Kent Wins the National Ethics Trial Competition

Ethics Competition Team: Kendra Spearman, Ann Motto, Gabrielle Romano, Tracey Harkins

Ethics Competition Team: Kendra Spearman, Ann Motto, Gabrielle Romano, Tracey Harkins

For the third time in seven years, a team from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has won the National Ethics Trial Competition. Second-year students Tracey Harkins, Ann Motto, and Gabrielle Romano, and third-year student Kendra Spearman won the tournament held March 19 to 21 at the Robert T. Matsui Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, Calif.

The National Ethics Trial Competition was established in 2006 by the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, to promote ethical and civility awareness through the mock trial competition format. IIT Chicago-Kent won the tournament in 2008 and 2012.

The team was coached by Wendy Muchman and Ari Telisman of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) of the Supreme Court of Illinois and by IIT Chicago-Kent alumna Gintare Radvila (LAW ’14).

“I’m extremely proud of our team, who managed to make the difficult facts understandable and interesting,” said coach Wendy Muchman. “Our victory is all the more exciting because the team comprises three second-year students who had never competed in a trial advocacy tournament.”

“Ari and I are especially grateful to the ARDC for their support of our endeavor,” said Muchman.

After defeating teams from the University of South Dakota, Brooklyn Law School, the University of Denver, and the University of Colorado, this year’s IIT Chicago-Kent team advanced to the finals to face the University of California, Hastings, which it defeated to win the national championship.

This year’s winning team member Tracey Harkins graduated from DePaul University with a degree in women’s and gender studies with a concentration in law and social justice. Teammate Ann Motto earned degrees in political science and psychology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Teammate Gabrielle Romano completed her undergraduate education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in health. Teammate Kendra Spearman received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff. Spearman earned a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in public management from DePaul University. She is currently working on a master’s degree in Christian ministry at Northern Seminary.

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 is ranked fourth in the country.