A team of future lawyers from the University at Buffalo Law School won a prestigious national mock trial competition over the weekend in New York City.
The UB team beat teams from 16 other law schools in the Queens District Attorney competition, which concluded on Sunday.
Law students Adela Smehlik, Courtney Morphet, Victoria Karnisky and Kaylan Porter made up the UB team, which was coached by two assistant district attorneys from Erie County, Cathleen Roemer and Matthew Powers. They completed four mock trials in two days.
Working to present a mock court case, using the same set of facts utilized by other teams, the UB team defeated three other law schools before defeating St. John’s University’s law school team in the finals. Other teams came from highly-rated law schools, including the University of Virginia, New York University and Boston College.
“This is a huge win for the law school,” said Christopher J. O’Brien, an Amherst attorney who serves as co-director of UB’s trial advocacy program.
Following one of the mock trials, according to law school officials, one of the evaluators of the competition told the UB team that she would tell the district attorney of Queens County that he needed to hire more UB graduates.
O’Brien said the UB Law School sends teams to “six or seven” competitions per semester and also hosts the Buffalo/Niagara Mock Trial Competition over Veterans Day weekend.