CWU News

Students Testify to CWU Law and Justice Preparation at Regional Mock Trial Competition

Three Central Washington University Law and Justice students were honored this month at the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) Oklahoma Regional. Mariah Hogan, a senior from Kent, and Ni Petty (senior, Seattle) each received Outstanding Witnesses awards, while Kailyn Bowman (senior, Bothell) was named an Outstanding Attorney.

“This is the first time in team history that multiple CWU competitors were recognized as awardees,” noted Cody Stoddard, CWU Law and Justice chair. “Our team was one of only a few at the regional with multiple awardees.”

American Mock Trial Association logoTo qualify for the awards, the students had to place first or second in each of the four rounds of the competition.

Overall, CWU received an honorable mention after placing seventh at the regional, held February 13-14 via Zoom from the Oklahoma College of Law. The showing was the best finish in program history, and the team fell just a half-point shy of advancing to the next round.

“Our success this year is a testament to these students’ hard work, the strength of their individual performances, and—most of all—their ability to support each other and work collectively as a team,” noted R. Shaffer Claridge, a CWU Law and Justice lecturer who served as the team’s coach.

Claridge pointed out that “the regional tournaments are open to all schools nationwide; not many schools of Central’s size field a team or are able to compete with the larger schools.”

This was Hogan’s third consecutive year as a competition award winner. “I felt the closest to my teammates this year than ever before,” she said. “Part of that was due to the fact we had to learn to collaborate online. And I think that translated to how well we competed this year.”

Mock trial competitors prepare and argue a hypothetical case—this year, it was a liability issue involving wine contaminated with a pesticide—in front of actual judges and attorneys. CWU’s team spent months preparing for the event.

AMTA is hosting 32 regional competitions, involving about 400 college and universities across the country, through April. The events promote undergraduate-student opportunities to gain confidence and in-depth feedback that will prove valuable for those who go on to law school and the legal profession.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, Robert.Lowery@cwu.ed