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Northwestern Law team wins at Buffalo-Niagara Invitational

This was the third time Northwestern has won this mock trial competition.

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Bartlit Center trial team was named co-champion of the Buffalo-Niagara Invitational held Nov. 9-12.

With 32 teams competing over eight rounds, Buffalo-Niagara is the largest and longest invitational in the country. Law students try both sides of a homicide case before experienced judges and trial attorneys who volunteer as judges and evaluators.

The Northwestern Law team, comprised of Cynthia Bi ’20, Kristen Stoicescu ’20, Kelyn Smith ’19, Michael Trucco ’20 and Sadaf Misbah ’20, went 3-1 in the four preliminary rounds and then 4-0 in the playoffs. 

They defeated teams from Syracuse, Houston, South Dakota, Nova Southeastern, Western State and South Carolina before beating St. John’s in the finals. The competition featured parallel championship rounds, the other of which was won by Chicago’s John Marshall Law School, thus reinforcing Chicago’s standing as the national epicenter of trial advocacy education.

The Northwestern Law team was coached by Richard Levin of Levin Riback Adelman & Flangel. This was the third time that a Northwestern Law team has won the Buffalo-Niagara competition. Next semester, the teams will compete in the American Association for Justice Student Trial Competition and the National Trial Competition.

The Northwestern trial teams are advised by Steven Lubet, the Williams Memorial Professor and director of the Bartlit Center on Trial Advocacy. 

“Our students’ performance was stellar, as always, and coach Rick Levin was with them every step of the way,” Lubet said. “They could not have a better teacher and mentor.”

Noting that Northwestern has won the National Trial Championship five times, which is tied for the most of any law school, Levin said, “These students are among the very best I’ve ever seen.”