The American Bar Association (ABA) Trial Advocacy Competition, the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) National Trial Competition, and the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Competition are not only the most prestigious trial competitions in the country, they are also the only trial competitions that require winning the regionals to advance. This year, UC Hastings Trial Teams have done the unbelievable (and possibly unprecedented) by winning all three of these regional competitions.
“Qualifying for nationals in these three competitions is extremely difficult and I don’t think it has ever been done before,” says coach and adjunct professor Geoffrey Hansen. “It’s even more impressive because the regional competitions on the west coast have by far the best schools competing.”
UC Hastings continued its success at the ABA regional competition with a first-place finish for a third straight year. This year’s team of 3L Pablo Wudka-Robles and 2Ls Ali Wolf, Kara Goidosik, and Ellie Barczak took their winning momentum to the national competition and nearly repeated the national-title winning performance from two years ago with a second place finish.
Not to be outdone, for the only the second time in twenty years, a UC Hastings trial team won the TYLA regional competition. 2Ls Kirche Ray, Natalie Dreyer, and Joseph Shashaty were competing in only their second tournament, but they bested some of the most talented 3L teams on the west coast to win this highly competitive event.
Rounding out the Triple Crown of regional titles, the team of 3Ls Pablo Wudka-Robles, Maryam Ahmad, Jon Davidi, and 2L Ellie Barczak won the AAJ competition in Seattle. “We have never made it to the finals of the AAJ, and to win it and qualify for a third national tournament was one of the greatest moments of my coaching career,” says coach Hansen. “I am proud beyond words of our entire team, insofar as no school has ever won all three regional competitions and gone to nationals in one year.”
The success of each individual team is due in part to incredible support of the alumni and faculty coaches and advisors, including Rob Moutrie ‘14, Lauren Birnbaum ‘13, Briana Curran ‘13, Jillian Harvey ‘17, Cliff Smoot ‘15, Christian Jagusch '15, Emily Stover ‘17, Toven Lim ‘16, and Professor Shanin Specter. “It’s truly a banner year for the trial team,” says coach Smoot.
For more information on the UC Hastings Trial Team, click here.
If you would like to support the UC Hastings Trial Team and its continued tradition of success by contributing a donation to the travel fund (three trips to the nationals were not budgeted as it has never happened before), please click here.