A team from Washington and Lee University School of Law went undefeated to win the 2015 National Black Law Students Association Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition last Sunday in Portland, Oregon.
More than 100 mock trial teams from around the country previously competed in six regional competitions to make the final 18 at the National BLSA convention and competition. W&L’s team emerged as national champions after two and a half days and six rounds of round-robin and single elimination competition.
The W&L BLSA chapter team consisted of third-year students Imani Hutty of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ryan Redd of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Cristina Sacco of Washington, D.C., and second-year student Emelia Hall-Tuisawau of London, England. The members were supported by student coach and third-year student Babatunde Cadmus of Lanham, Maryland. Law professor Beth Belmont and W&L law alumnus Andy Budzinski are coaches.
The same weekend in Portland, a W&L BLSA team competed in the national finals of the Frederick Douglas Moot Court Competition. Although the Richard Zhang, a third-year student from Ledgewood, New Jersey, and Ariel Wossene of Elysian Fields, Texas, did not advance from the preliminary round of 18 teams, student coach and third-year student Hernandez Stroud of Meridianville, Alabama, received an invitation to return to the national competition next year as a judge.
This is only the fourth year teams from W&L have competed in the national BLSA mock trial and moot court competitions. W&L’s BLSA mock trial and moot court teams have advanced to the nationals every year since entering the competitions for the first time four years ago.