Byrne Trial Advocacy Team

Loyola's Trial Advocacy Program Shines in Moot Court Successes

Loyola Law School’s moot-court and trial-advocacy teams continue to build on their 2012 successes with major victories in 2013. One squad of the Law School's Byrne Trial Advocacy Team was named regional champions and another regional semifinalist at the prestigious National Trial Competition. The team named regional champions went undefeated and will advance to the National Finals in San Antonio, Texas in April. 

The 2012 year ended with a major feat by Loyola's LAWASIA team, which competed at the seventh-annual International Moot Competition in Bali, Indonesia. The best mooter award went to student Wendy Chan. The team, which included James Yu and Kevin Hong, placed fourth in the event featuring law schools from around the world. LAWASIA is an international organization of legal professional with an interest in the Asia-Pacific region. Professor John McDermott, team coach, is fielding applications for next year's competition in Singapore.

Elsewhere, the Law School’s three-person Byrne Team of Catherine Grech ‘13, Juan Higuera ’13 and Brian Poulter ’12 won the regional rounds of the National Trial Competition -- the country's most prestigious and competitive national trial-advocacy tournament. After defeating teams from Southern California, Utah and Arizona, the team went on to compete in the national finals in Austin, Texas. There, they went head-to-head with the other 27 regional champions and advanced all the way to the national quarter finals. This was Loyola's 19th regional championship in the last 23 years. U.S. News & World Report also recognized the Loyola trial-advocacy program by ranking it one of the top ten in the country.

Recent graduate and Byrne alumnus Brian Poulter transferred to Loyola at the end of his first year of law school in Texasbecause he was looking for a school with a greater commitment to trial advocacy.

“To me, trying cases is what being an attorney is all about,” Poulter said.

He leaves Loyola having tried more than 50 cases and having competed in five national mock-trial competitions. Poulter said he owes all of his skills and achievements to the Byrne team, its coaches and alumni. “Wherever we go across the country, teams know who we are and respect us,” Poulter said. “It has been by far the most rewarding, educational and grueling experience of my law school career. The amount of dedication, instruction and one-on-one training I have received has proved to be absolutely invaluable.”

The team is coached by William C. Hobbs Clinical Professor Susan Poehls, director of trial advocacy, who was quick to heap praise upon her team. “They put in the time and effort it takes to become good at something that many lawyers may not learn over their entire career,” Poehls said. “I'm so proud of these students. They have dedicated countless hours to improve their skills and represent their law school so well.”

But Loyola’s moot-court triumphs don’t end there. The Scott Moot Court team of Elleny Christopoulos, Joelle Trowbridge and Jessica Vogel won the prestigious best-brief prize at the American Bar Association (ABA) National Appellate Advocacy Competition in Seattle and advanced to the final round of the competition. The team of Raya Marinova, Tom McNamara and Anna Milunas took home the award for third-best brief and advanced to the semi-finals. Milunas was also recognized for being the ninth-best oralist at the competition.

On Loyola’s first trip to the Environmental Moot Court Competition in New York, team member Michael Jaeger won best-oralist honors. Elsewhere, Loyola teams shined at competitions such as the Hispanic Bar Association Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition.