William & Mary Law School’s National Trial Team took home first place at the Peter James Johnson Memorial National Civil Rights Trial Competition hosted by St. John’s University School of Law in New York on October 20-23. Trial team members Matthew Keehn J.D. ’17, Elizabeth Mincer J.D. ’18, Allison Prout J.D. ’17, and Taylor Treece J.D. ’18 won the tournament for the first time in team history, topping their quarter final finish last year.
The competition, hosted by St. John’s Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute, is the only national civil rights trial competition. Sixteen teams competed this year, including teams from New York University, Fordham University, Brooklyn Law School, American Law School, and Houston College of Law. Preliminary rounds were conducted at Nassau County Supreme Court in Mineola with subsequent rounds, including the final round, held in St. John’s Belson Moot Court Room. William & Mary faced Houston, last year’s winners, in the final round of the competition.
“The three teammates I was with were excellent and the reason that we won,” Keehn said of his teammates. “Allie Prout gave an amazing opening statement and was able to keep out an expert witness with an excellent voir dire; Liz Mincer had a fantastic closing argument with an analogy that blew the judges away; and Taylor Treece argued some phenomenal evidentiary issues and gave a closing argument that perfectly tied together the case. All in all, a great team that I feel very lucky to have been on.”
William & Mary’s National Trial Team is one of the top teams in the nation, competitively selected from among dozens of law students in the team’s annual selection tournament. Team members are coached and taught by accomplished trial lawyer Jeffrey Breit. Members gain extensive training in trial advocacy, including evidentiary objections, trial skills, and trial strategy.
About William & Mary Law School
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.