IIT Chicago-Kent wins National Trial Competition's Midwest regional championship

Monday, March 22, 2010

Damien Clark and Charles Prochaska, third-year students at Chicago-Kent College of Law, are the winners of the Region 8 championship of the National Trial Competition, the premier trial advocacy tournament in the United States. This is the fourth consecutive year and the 23rd time in the past 29 years that a team from Chicago-Kent has won the regional championship.

Chicago-Kent students Damien Clark '10 (left) and Charles Prochaska '10, winners of the 2010 National Trial Competition Region 8 championship
Chicago-Kent students Damien Clark '10 (left) and Charles Prochaska '10, winners of the 2010 National Trial Competition Region 8 championship

The students argued a hypothetical lawsuit over a $1 million life insurance policy. Clark and Prochaska defeated teams from Valparaiso University, Northwestern University and Loyola University Chicago during the regional contest held February 18 to February 20 in Indianapolis. They will go on to compete for the national title March 24 to 28 in Dallas, Tex. Chicago-Kent won the national championship in 1988, 2007 and 2008.

Third-year student Damien Clark earned his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Chicago. Teammate Prochaska is a third-year student who received his undergraduate degree in political science with a minor in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The winning Chicago-Kent team is coached by retired Illinois Appellate Court Justice David A. Erickson; Rachel Moran '08, of the Office of the State Appellate Defender; and attorney David M. Lavin of the Chicago law firm of Field and Goldberg. A second team from Chicago-Kent -- Jeremiah Lewellen, Julie Levinson and Colleen Bisher -- reached the competition's semifinal round.

More than 1,000 law students from nearly 300 teams representing 147 U.S. law schools participate in the annual competition, which is sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Association, and the Texas Young Lawyers Association.

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. In addition, U.S. News & World Report this year ranked Chicago-Kent's trial advocacy program among the top five in the country.