Chicago-Kent Wins First Place in the Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition’s 2020 Midwest Regional Tournament
Team Will Advance to the National Finals in Cincinnati
The Chicago-Kent College of Law trial advocacy team of Annisha Arnold ’20, Shawn-Anthony Meyer ’20, Michael McGee ’20, and Cristina Alma McNeiley ’20 won the Midwest regional championship of the National Black Law Students Association’s 2020 Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition that was held February 5–9 in Indianapolis. Additionally, Arnold earned individual honors as the tournament’s best oral advocate.
The Chicago-Kent team and the second- and third-place Midwest teams will join the top three teams from five other regions to compete in the national finals on March 3–5 during NBLSA’s annual conference in Cincinnati.
“I’m extremely proud of this group,” says Kendra Spearman ’16, one of two trial advocacy alumnae who coached the team. “They worked incredibly hard for two months while working jobs and doing coursework. It was a blessing to watch them dominate at the competition.”
At the regional tournament, Arnold, Meyer, McGee, and McNeiley remained undefeated, trouncing teams from UIC John Marshall Law School, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Marquette University Law School, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and the University of Kentucky College of Law.
The team argued a case based on the murder trial of former professional football player Aaron Hernandez, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his friend Odin Lloyd.
Arnold graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. degree in communication. Meyer earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from Kansas State University. McGee graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government. McNeiley earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Butler University.
In addition to Spearman, Adella Deacon ’11 coached the team. Chicago-Kent’s Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition team is supported by the law firm of SmithAmundsen LLC.
Sponsored by the NBLSA, the competition is named for the Honorable Constance Baker Motley, the first African-American woman appointed to the federal judiciary.
Chicago-Kent’s trial advocacy teams have won numerous individual student honors and regional and national competitions. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings, Chicago-Kent’s Trial Advocacy Program is ranked fifth in the country.