Bartlit Center Team Wins Regional AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition

March 14, 2016

A Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Bartlit Center Trial Team won first place in the Midwest Regional of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Competition held March 10 to 13 in Chicago. 

The victory in the AAJ competition is Northwestern Law’s second regional championship of the season, having won the National Trial Competition Midwest Regional last month. This is the first time that Northwestern Law has qualified for the national championships of both major trial advocacy competitions in the same year.

In the AAJ competition, Cassandra Myers (JD '16), Christian Segar (JD '17), Patrick Cordova (JD '17) and Michael Ovca (JD '17) captured first place, ahead of teams from 14 other law schools. 

The Northwestern Law team defeated Wayne State University Law School and University of St. Thomas School of Law in the preliminary rounds, and went on to beat Chicago-Kent College of Law in the semi-finals and Loyola University Chicago School of Law for the regional championship. They will now go on to compete for the AAJ National Championship, to be held March 31 to April 3 in New Orleans.

The head coach of the Bartlit Center's AAJ team is Robert Robertson of the Law Offices of Robert Robertson. Northwestern’s other coaches, all of whom are alumni and former trial team members, are Mark Duric of Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan LLP; Kendrick Washington, adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Northwestern University; Anne Yonover, judicial law clerk to the Honorable Charles P. Kocoras of the Northern District of Illinois; Mary Kim of Dechert LLP; and Andrew Cockroft of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  

Steven Lubet, Williams Memorial Professor of Law and director of the Bartlit Center on Trial Advocacy at Northwestern, congratulated the students and their coach.  

“I cannot say enough good things about Rob Robertson,” Lubet said. “He is a great lawyer and a great coach who instructs our students in the intricacies of evidence and technique, while always keeping his eye on the bigger picture of overall strategy and absolute professionalism.”

Robertson praised his students for their hard work and dedication. 

“This team exemplifies all that I have come to expect from Northwestern Pritzker law students: They are intelligent, exhibit professionalism, have an outstanding work ethic and the strength to trust themselves to handle any situation that presents itself.”