McGeorge School of Law students shine during the fall semester of the 2022-23 competition season
University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law students excelled during the fall 2022 competition season. McGeorge’s competition teams compete throughout the fall and spring semesters at some of the nation’s best intercollegiate competitions.
The programs’ leadership and student success have earned the law school a national reputation for the quality of its programs. McGeorge’s mock trial and moot court competition team programs train students to excel as trial and appellate lawyers by teaching them persuasive courtroom advocacy skills and effective application of the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Professor Ed Telfeyan, co-director of the Eglet Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution and director of the school’s moot court program, said his students hone their lawyering and advocacy skills through the program.
“We train our students to be courtroom ready, and the best of them compete on our competition teams,” Telfeyan said.
The trial advocacy program at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law is consistently ranked among the top 20 programs in the nation. The law school was ranked #16 nationally for its trial advocacy program by U.S. News and World Report in 2022. The program is also one of only 11 in the country to receive an A+ rating from preLaw Magazine in 2022.
Appellate Lawyers Association National Moot Court Competition
Second-year law student Morgan Graber and third-year law students Heather Mills and Tom Gherini took first place in the Appellate Lawyers Association National Moot Court Competition Championship on Nov. 4 and 5 in Chicago. Additionally, Mills won third Best Oralist and the team won third Best Brief.
"The success that we achieved in this competition was only made possible by the incredible group of students and coaches who supported us on this journey," Gherini said. "This is a collective victory for the moot court program, and one that we plan to build on in the spring."
The team was coached by Professor Dan Croxall, ’08, Maricar Pascual, ‘16, and third-year law student Kaylee Sheldon.
“All three of these advocates are simply top-notch on a national level,” Croxall said. “Their ability to navigate a complex legal and factual landscape with mastery and grace is superior to most practicing attorneys I have seen in my career.”
National All-Star Bracket Challenge
Second-year law student Mandi Weburg and third-year law students Alec Watson, Holly Pounders, and Darrin Baluyot won Region Three of the National All-Star Bracket Challenge on Oct. 9. Weburg was one of only two advocates out of 360 students competing in the country to receive an award for Best Advocate in all four rounds of the competition.
The team also competed at the National Finals and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the competition at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida on Nov. 13. McGeorge’s team competed alongside 63 teams from other law schools in the national finals of the competition.
“Every top trial advocacy program in the country competed in this competition, so to be one of only eight schools in the country to have a team in the national finals is a huge achievement,” said Annie Deets, co-director of the Eglet Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution and director of the school’s trial advocacy program. “The coaches and students worked hundreds of hours to perfect their case theory and execution, and that hard work was recognized by the judges. The best is yet to come for all four of these students.”
The team was coached by Sacramento District Attorney-Elect Thien Ho, ‘98, and Sacramento County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Keith Hill, ‘96.
Annual San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Mock Trial Competition
Second-year law students Razia Bath, Kris Chaney, Kai Ellsworth, and Karla Noyles won the Annual San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Mock Trial Competition. The competition was hosted at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law on Oct. 29.
“We had such a great time working with this talented and dedicated group of students, who worked so many hours to simplify a complicated and challenging case,” Deets said. “These four deserve every bit of this success. For 2L students to show such remarkable skill and growth this early in the year is so encouraging.”
This team was coached by Deets and Director of Bar Support Lindsay Harrington, ’03.
“This team showcased their strong advocacy skills, use of courtroom technology, and proficiency in California Rules of Evidence for this competition. They presented their cases with confidence and professionalism while demonstrating advanced trial advocacy skills, especially on both direct and cross-examination of expert witnesses,” Harrington said.
Ellsworth said participating in the mock trial program and on a competition team "was one of the best experiences I have had so far in law school."
"It really gave us the opportunity to use so many of the skills we have been learning in the classroom and to show members of the legal community what McGeorge students can do," Ellsworth said.
In addition to the aforementioned competitions, McGeorge students annually compete in a number of other regional, national and international competitions nationwide.
For more information about McGeorge School of Law, visit our website.