MC Law Hosts Top Gun Trial Competition and the 1L Opening Statement Competition
The Mississippi College School of Law Moot Court board hosted the second annual Coxwell & Associates’ Top Gun trial competition Sept. 12-15 at MC Law. Sixteen top trial students competed for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship. This year, the competition coincided with the final round of the 1L Opening Statement competition held on Sept. 15.
Third-year students Sarah Beth Ritchey, of Birmingham, Ala., and Laura Katzenmeyer, of Choudrant, La., advanced to the final round of the Top Gun competition, with Ritchey taking home the first place prize. “I felt honored to compete in the finals, and I will never forget the way I felt when I heard my name announced as the winner," recalled Ritchey, who is an active member of the Moot Court board.
"Competing in Top Gun was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I have had in law school,” said Ritchey. “It not only allowed me to learn about myself as an advocate, but also gave me the privilege of hearing feedback from a phenomenal panel of judges- feedback that I will cherish and incorporate into my future practice in law.”
Among the final panel was the presiding judge, Stephen Jones of Enid, Okla. Jones served as lead defense counsel for Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing trial in the 1990s. Jones repeatedly complimented MC Law for its top-notch advocacy program and its dedication to trial skills training.
The 1L Opening Statement competition, which the Moot Court Board co-hosted with the Advocacy Society, drew almost 40 first-year students to compete. First-year students Katie Sumrall, of Laurel, Miss., and Lance Martin, of Sontag, Miss., advanced to the final round of the competition, with Sumrall taking home the 1st place award.
Shane Read of Dallas, Texas, presided over the 1L Opening Statement competition. Read is a U.S Attorney, a trial practice professor at Southern Methodist University, and the author of Winning at Trial. Read’s book won the ACLEA Award for Professional Excellence, being selected as the best book out of 300 legal publications.
The MC Law Moot Court board thanks Coxwell & Associates for its generous support of these competitions, without which, none of this would be possible.