Syracuse National Trial Competition
The College of Law has invited applications from law schools nationwide to compete in the Syracuse National Trial Competition (SNTC), a new invitational advocacy competition that will take place in Syracuse city courtrooms and at the College of Law, Oct. 11-13, 2019.
The 12 law school teams selected to compete will be guaranteed four rounds of competition before the semi-final and final rounds, which will take place in Dineen Hall. In addition to the team competition, awards will be given for individual student performances. Team selection is based on the quality of a school’s advocacy program and on wide geographic diversity.
Selected teams will be notified and must register by July 1 and submit the competition fee of $650. Further information about the competition and accommodations will be sent by August 1.
Please note that teams participating in the competition must be accompanied by a non-student coach with a J.D. degree. The coach must be present for the entire competition.
Supported by the College of Law’s Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society, the Syracuse National Trial Competition is co-directed by Director of Advocacy Programs Professor Todd Berger and long time coach and volunteer Joanne Van Dyke, Esq. L’87, attorney at Cote & Van Dyke, LLP. “We look forward to presenting a robust and exciting competition with talented student advocates sharpening their skills in a realistic courtroom setting,” says Berger.
The College of Law’s inaugural Syracuse National Trial Competition (SNTC) pitted 12 top advocacy teams from law schools across the country on October 11-13. After three grueling days of competition, Loyola Law School Los Angeles prevailed over Samford University Cumberland School of Law. In addition, Russel Blakey of Loyola claimed the Best Overall Advocate award.
Loyola and Cumberland advanced from the quarterfinals over Syracuse University College of Law and Temple University Beasley School of Law.
The Hon. Miroslav Lovric, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York, presided over the final round, with Michelle Whitton Cowan L’07, special counsel at Hinman, Howard and Kattell; Mathew Holmes L’15, associate at Ernstrom & Dreste; and Lee Michaels L’67 Founder and President of Michaels and Smolak, serving as evaluators.
“I want to thank all the teams for participating in the inaugural Syracuse National Trial Competition,” says Professor Todd Berger, SNTC co-director and Director of Advocacy Programs. “I am proud of the College of Law’s team strong performance by advancing to the quarterfinals, and of JoAnne and our SNTC planning committee for hours of work preparing and executing a great three days of competition.”
“I can attest to the unanimously positive feedback I’ve received from the judges and evaluators for all the teams, and how the teams made them make some tough decisions,” said JoAnne Van Dyke L’87, SNTC co-director and attorney at Cote & Van Dyke. “Congratulations to Loyola for their accomplishment and all the trial advocates. We are anxious to start planning next year’s competition.”
SNTC was supported by the College of Law’s Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society, and sponsors: Arnold & Porter; DLA Piper; Hancock Estabrook; James E. Reid, Esq.; Schulte, Roth & Zabel; and the Sugarman Law Firm.
Thank you very much to all the schools who applied for the inaugural Syracuse National Trial Competition. We appreciate the level of interest in this competition and thank all the tremendously qualified applicants.
We are pleased to announce the 12 schools selected to participate this fall:
• Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
• Brooklyn Law School
• Chicago-Kent College of Law
• Fordham University School of Law
• Loyola Law School Los Angeles
• Samford University Cumberland School of Law
• South Texas College of Law
• Suffolk University Law School
• Syracuse University College of Law
• Temple University Beasley School of Law
• University of Akron School of Law
• University of Illinois College of Law
The tournament will be held in Syracuse city courtrooms and the College of Law October 11-13, 2019.