By Milena Celentano
TJSL’s Trial Team took Semifinalist honors in the Ninth Annual American Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Regional Trial Competition in Los Angeles, November 17-18. There were 16 teams competing to represent the region, including UCLA, Pepperdine, Loyola, and USD.
TJSL sent two teams comprising eight TJSL students: Charles Lollar (3L), Javier Vargas (3L), Michael Klitzke (3L), Jessica McCracken (2L), Raffy Krikorian (3L), Brad Sorrentino (3L), Ismael Iniguez (3L), and Kierre Coghill (2L). Coached by adjunct Professors Lea Fields-Bernard and Lilys McCoy, the team spent long hours mastering a challenging fact pattern involving a claim of wrongful termination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The team was greatly aided in its preparation by Professor Susan Bisom-Rapp and Professor Rebecca Lee, both employment law scholars.
Sorrentino, Krikorian, Coghill, and Iniguez advanced as a team to the semifinals, where they ended a successful run as the third seed overall. Their placement was especially impressive, as they were all first time competitors. “While the competition was certainly trying, it was clear that our dedication, time, and coaching set us apart. It was an honor to represent our school,” said Sorrentino.
According to second year student Kierre Coghill, “Advancing to the semifinals in my first competition taught me to trust in myself as much as I trusted in my teammates and coaches. It was amazing to compete against schools such as UCLA, Pepperdine, and The University of Houston and to realize that not only can we hold our own, but we can win. I could not be more proud to say that I am a member of Thomas Jefferson School of Law Mock Trial Team.”
The team is looking forward to a busy Spring semester. They will be competing in the American Association of Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition, Pacific McGeorge's National Ethics Trial Competition, and the Texas Young Lawyers Association Mock Trial Competition. Last Spring, the TJSL Team won TYLA Regionals and reached the Semifinals of TYLA’s National Trial Competition.