University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law students excelled in fall competitions taking a national championship in the moot court program and placing first in two mock trial program competitions.
The trial advocacy program at McGeorge is consistently ranked among the top 20 programs in the nation. The law school was ranked No. 16 nationally for its trial advocacy program by U.S. News and World Report in 2022. The program is also one of only 11 in the country to receive an A+ rating from preLaw Magazine in 2022.
The programs help students hone their skills as trial lawyers (mock trial) and appellate lawyers (moot court).
Pacific’s moot court team took first place in the Appellate Lawyers Association National Moot Court Competition Championship and third for Best Brief. Third-year student Heather Mills also won third Best Oralist.
“The success that we achieved in this competition was made possible by the incredible group of students and coaches who supported us on this journey,” said third-year law student and moot court team member Tom Gherini. “This is a collective victory for the moot court program, and one that we plan to build on in the spring.”
Students in the mock trial program won Region Three of the National All-Star Bracket Challenge. Second-year law student Mandi Weburg was one of only two advocates out of 360 students in the country to receive an award for Best Advocate in all four rounds of the competition.
The team also competed at the National Finals and advanced to the quarterfinal round. McGeorge competed alongside 63 other law schools in the national finals.
“Every top trial advocacy program in the country competed in this competition, so to be one of only eight schools in the country to have a team in the national finals is a huge achievement,” said Annie Deets, co-director of the Eglet Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution and director of the school’s trial advocacy program. “The coaches and students worked hundreds of hours to perfect their case theory and execution, and that hard work was recognized by the judges.”
A different team in the mock trial program won the Annual San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Mock Trial Competition.
“This team showcased their strong advocacy skills, use of courtroom technology, and proficiency in California Rules of Evidence for this competition. They presented their cases with confidence and professionalism while demonstrating advanced trial advocacy skills, especially on both direct and cross-examination of expert witnesses,” said Director of Bar Support Lindsay Harrington ’03, who coached the team.
Second-year student Kai Ellsworth said the mock trial program and competition “was one of the best experiences I have had so far in law school.”
“It gave us the opportunity to use many of the skills we have been learning in the classroom and to show members of the legal community what McGeorge students can do,” Ellsworth said.