IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law to defend its championship in the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition

Friday, January 30, 2015
Jing Zhang (left) and Nicole Wilmet will compete as a team representing IIT Chicago-Kent at the 2015 William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition.
Jing Zhang (left) and Nicole Wilmet will compete as a team representing IIT Chicago-Kent at the 2015 William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition.

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law will send two teams to defend its 2014 championship in the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition February 19 to 21 at Hamline University School of Law. Nicholas Bartzen '15, Melody Gaal '15 and Eric Shinabarger '15 won last year's overall championship and the best brief award. (IIT Chicago-Kent also won the championship and best oral advocate award in 2012.)

This year, second-year students Alex Beehler, Peter Cheun and Alexandra McNicholas will compete on one of IIT Chicago-Kent's teams. Third-year students Nicole Wilmet and Jing Zhang comprise the other team.

Team member Alex Beehler earned a degree in American politics and in business and in economics at Cornell College. Teammate Peter Cheun received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and a bachelor of arts degree in history, political science and French from Indiana University. Teammate Alexandra McNicholas graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in foreign affairs.

 Peter Cheun, Alex Beehler and Alexandra McNicholas will compete as another IIT Chicago-Kent team at the 2015 William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition.
From left: Peter Cheun, Alex Beehler and Alexandra McNicholas will compete as another IIT Chicago-Kent team at the 2015 William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition.

Team member Nicole Wilmet graduated from DePauw University with a double major in English literature and communication. Teammate Jing Zhang graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in communication and environmental studies and a minor in science.

The competition is named for William E. McGee, the first African American to be appointed chief public defender in the state of Minnesota. Mr. McGee also served as a public defender and prosecutor for Hennepin County. During his career, he worked as a staff attorney and then as executive director at the Legal Rights Center, a nonprofit, community-based organization that represents low-income people of color. Mr. McGee worked with numerous community and legal organizations, including the NAACP, the Legal Redress Committee, the Minnesota Criminal Rules Committee and the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, of which he was a founding member and a past president. He died in 2000 at the age of 47.

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. In 2009, IIT Chicago-Kent successfully defended its championship in the National Moot Court Competition, becoming the first school in that tournament's history to win back-to-back titles.

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