IIT Chicago-Kent to defend its ABA labor law trial competition regional championships

Teams will vie for Chicago-Kent's third consecutive trip to the national finals

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law will defend its back-to-back regional championships in the American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law's 8th annual Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition November 19 and 20 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. IIT Chicago-Kent won this tournament's regional championship in 2009 and 2010. Winning teams from eight regions will go on to compete for the national title January 28-29, 2012, in Miami.

In this year's competition, students will argue the case of Ellen Smith v. Open and Shut, Inc. In this case, an employee filed a lawsuit against her former employer for interfering with her right to take maternity leave and for later retaliating against her for taking the leave in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act.

IIT Chicago-Kent will send two teams to the tournament. Amanda Bielinski, Ryan Gallagher, Erin Mayer and Brett Siegel are on the first team. Zachary Budden, Patrick Milott, Erica Suskind and Daniel Taylor comprise the second team.

Team member Amanda Bielinski is a second-year student who earned her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, with a minor in mathematics, from the University of Alabama. Teammate Ryan Gallagher, a third-year student, graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a major in political science and a minor in politics and law. Teammate Erin Mayer is a second-year student who majored in Spanish and minored in history at the University of Texas at Austin. Teammate Brett Siegel, a third-year student, graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a double major in economics and communication.

Team member Zachary Budden is a third-year student who completed his undergraduate education at Michigan State University with a degree in human resources. Teammate Patrick Milott, also a third-year student, received his bachelor of science degree in philosophy, with honors, and a minor in sociology from Illinois State University. Teammate and third-year student Erica Suskind earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Arizona. Teammate Daniel Taylor is a third-year student who graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in history.

IIT 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. IIT Chicago-Kent teams have won numerous individual student honors and regional and national competitions, including the 1988, 2007 and 2008 National Trial Competition championships. In 2008, IIT Chicago-Kent became the first law school to win both the National Trial Competition and the National Moot Court Competition in the same year.