IIT Chicago-Kent students Rachel Remke and Ryan Nolte advance to the 2011 National Trial Competition finals

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law team of Rachel Remke '12 and Ryan Nolte '11 has advanced to the final rounds of the National Trial Competition (NTC), the premier trial advocacy tournament in the nation. Chicago-Kent, one of the top two teams in the NTC Region 8 tournament held February 10 to 12 in Valparaiso, Ind., will join 26 teams from 13 other regions in the national finals, which take place April 6 through 10 in Houston, Tex. Chicago-Kent won the national championship in 1988, 2007 and 2008.

The students argued Lone Star v. Duffie, a hypothetical criminal case in which the defendant was charged with first-degree murder and robbery. Remke and Nolte defeated law school teams from Valparaiso and Northern Illinois and two teams from John Marshall during the regional contest. A second team from IIT Chicago-Kent -- Jeremiah Lewellen '11, Julie Levinson '11 and Joseph Carlasare '12 -- reached the competition's final round but were beaten by Northwestern and narrowly missed joining Remke and Nolte in the national competition.

Winning team member Rachel Remke, a second-year student, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a double major in political science and psychology. Remke was a member of the IIT Chicago-Kent team that won the National Institute for Trial Advocacy's 2010 Tournament of Champions. Teammate Ryan Nolte, a third-year student, graduated with departmental honors from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a double major in philosophy and criminal justice and a minor in sociology. Nolte was a member of the IIT Chicago-Kent team that finished second in the 2010 Buffalo-Niagara National Mock Trial Competition. He won the tournament's Best Oral Advocate award.

The Chicago-Kent teams were coached by retired Illinois Appellate Court Justice David A. Erickson; Cook County Circuit Court Judge Demetrios G. Kottaras '84; Sulema Medrano '09 of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office; Rachel Moran '08 of the Office of the State Appellate Defender; David M. Lavin of the Chicago law firm of Field and Goldberg; and retired attorney George Domas '82, who was a member of Chicago-Kent's first trial advocacy team.

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.