The Charlotte Law Trial Advocacy Board hosted the fourth annual Carolinas Competition the weekend of October 23rd to 25th. The competition drew teams from the University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina, Georgia State, South Texas, Atlanta’s John Marshall, and Charlotte School of Law. Local attorneys and Judges from around the Charlotte area came out to help judge the multiple rounds of competition.
The first two preliminary rounds of competition were held at the Mecklenburg County Court House. After those two rounds the twelve competing teams dropped down to the top eight teams which then competed in a knock-out round of competition to see who would make it to the semi-finals. The semi-finals were hosted Sunday morning at the Charlotte School of Law campus and consisted of two Charlotte School of Law teams, one UNC team, and one team from USC.
The two Charlotte School of Law teams had to face each other in the semi-final round competing against each other to see who would make it to the finals. The two teams were made up of both 2Ls and 3Ls who are all new to the Trial Advocacy Board at CSL. The first team was comprised of Megan White, Tiana Young Morris, Megan Powell, and Ahmed Toure; and the second team included Owen Harnett, Ronniesha Smith, Jhonathan Morales Najera, and Bethany Hixson.
The final round took place Sunday afternoon and the match-up consisted of a team from USC and the CSL team consisting of Megan White, Tiana Young Morris, Megan Powell, and Ahmed Toure. The final round was extremely close as both teams were evenly matched in the courtroom. In the end, the team from USC won the competition by a very narrow margin. Even though the teams from CSL were not able to take home the big win in the competition, they all had an amazing time being able to compete and had the following to say about their experience in the Carolinas Competition:
“I have no doubt that CSL had the best two teams in the competition. Both teams and foil members were hard-working and dedicated to making this team better. We had coaches who pushed us to be better. It was a great experience to compete for the first time on our home turf. It was an honor to represent the school. It was also great to have the entire CSL Trial Advocacy Board supporting us. It meant a lot.”
~ Megan White
“Not only was it a privilege to represent Charlotte School of Law in this competition, but it was a privilege to learn from such successful attorneys and judges. Every team that participated was extremely talented. Knowing that we made it so far in the competition proves that the hard work and dedication our coaches and team put into preparing for the last six weeks definitely paid off. This was one of the most beneficial experiences I have had in law school thus far.”
~ Megan Powell
“We started our preparation for the case as friends; six weeks later, we were practically family with all of the time we spent together preparing our cases. Our dedication was reflected by our performance in the Carolina’s competition against schools like UNC, Georgia State, and USC where we reached the semi-finals and one team reached the finals, finishing second overall. We were all first-time competitors and it was a great experience being in front of judges presenting our case in chief, and we are looking forward to our next competition.”
~ Owen Harnett
“Practicing, competing and tasting success with this fine group of advocates was an experience like none other. I’m forever grateful for that experience and I’m already looking forward to next time.”
~ Ahmed Toure
Even though our CSL team did not win, our very own Tiana Young Morris won the Best Advocate Award for the entire competition. Tiana’s partner for the defense in the final round, Megan White, had this to say about her partner winning Best Advocate: “Tiana’s award for best advocate was well deserved. She is extremely talented and great to work with. It was an honor to be her co-counsel.”
Overall, CSL team coach Alexa McCartney summed it up best: “From the first introductory meeting until our final round of the competition, my goal was to make my team members’ experiences as amazing as mine was when I competed as a student. While I had high expectations for our teams, each and every teammate exceeded those expectations and it was a privilege to watch them continuously improve over the six weeks of preparation. Through their hard work, dedication, and passion for litigation, these individuals developed into confident and professional advocates and I was honored to have been their coach.”