IIT Chicago-Kent advances to the finals of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law's seventh annual Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law team of Nicholas Economakos, Clyde Guilamo, Nicholas McIntyre and Heather Widell has advanced to the national finals of the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law's seventh annual Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition after defeating John Marshall Law School in the regional tournament held November 20 and 21 at the Everett M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago.

Established by the ABA's Section of Labor and Employment Law, the competition is designed to introduce law students to the challenges and rewards of employment and labor litigation. This is the second consecutive year Chicago-Kent has won the regional championship. The team will go on to compete against champions from seven other regions for the national title January 29 to 30 in Los Angeles.

In this year's competition, students argued the case of Pat Bramble v. Baby Boomer Life Insurance Company, a wrongful-termination lawsuit that alleged the plaintiff was discharged from the insurance company because she had cancer, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Chicago-Kent faced teams from the University of Wisconsin and University of West Virginia in the preliminary rounds and defeated Washington University in St. Louis in the semifinals before beating John Marshall in the final round. The Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois judged the final round of competition.

Winning team member Nicholas Economakos is a second-year student who graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he majored in electronic media arts and communication with a focus in film. Teammate Clyde Guilamo, a third-year student, graduated from Northwestern University, where he majored in mathematics and economics. Teammate Nicholas McIntrye is a fourth-year evening student who graduated from Marquette University with a degree in English. Teammate Heather Widell, a second-year student, graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in sport management and psychology.

The team was coached by Chicago-Kent alumni and former trial advocacy team members Matthew Casey '09, Kylie Hannan '10, Jennifer Hofman '10, and Brian Wojcicki '09. Third-year student Jessica Biagi served as the team's student adviser.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. Chicago-Kent's trial advocacy teams have won numerous individual student honors and regional and national competitions, including the 1988, 2007 and 2008 National Trial Competition championships. In 2008, Chicago-Kent became the first law school to win both the National Trial Competition and the National Moot Court Competition in the same year.