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First- and Second-Place Finishes Highlight Successful Competitions

Professor Dortch-Okara
Professor Dortch-Okara 

Revised-May 11, 2017: New England Law | Boston’s advocacy and skills teams made their mark in competitions this year, with highlights including a top individual award and a pair of second place finishes.

Competitors gain real-world skills through events that test legal knowledge through the presentation of arguments, taking of risks, and discovering how to succeed in regional and national advocacy events. Students are also introduced to the legal community and demonstrate their potential to future employers through contact with the practicing attorneys and jurists who coach and judge competitions.

“Advocacy and skills teams are great preparation not just for law practice, but for life,” notes Professor Barbara Dortch-Okara, a retired Massachusetts Superior Court judge. Professor Dortch-Okara is among the distinguished jurists, practitioners, and professors who take New England Law students through the intense and rewarding trainings that lead to their competitive success.

Louis Landolfi ’17 took the award for Best Oralist in the 2017 National Tax Moot Court Competition, beating out last year’s winner on his way to garnering the highest average point total of all individual competitors. Landolfi and co-counsel Ekaterina Gianiotis ’17 had to deal with a tax/jurisdictional topic and a Section 469 issue concerning passive business activities, and advanced to the second day of the competition before bowing out as a team.

The pair received their competition problem well in advance of the event, allowing them time to write a brief and work with team coach Professor Kent Schenkel and other members of the New England Law community.

“The training was very intense and interesting,” said Gianiotis. “Professor Schenkel is very good at training students, teaching us how to speak and how to argue, and very good at pushing us to come up with arguments on the spot.”

Gianiotis observed how winning competitors amended their arguments and incorporated additional points as they proceeded. “As you argue, you get more comfortable,” she said. “Competing teaches you how to speak, how to write, how to argue a point, and how to be comfortable in your own skin.”              

The ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition featured two New England Law teams, Liz O’Neill ’20 and Luella Wong ’20, and Alissa Koenig ’18 and Marie Valera ’18. Both squads advanced to the semifinals and O’Neil and Wong reached the finals, where they claimed second place overall. “They represented our school with the utmost professionalism,” said team coach Professor Lisa Freudenheim.

Other competitors included Regional Mock Trial Competition team members Rachael Bandeira ’18, Bryan Colella ’17, Harry Horton ’17, Shylah Maloney ’18, Laura Rodriguez ’18, and Richard Shiller ’17, and the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition (Trademark Law) team of Erin Connors ’18 and Amelia Pennington ’18.