Gafford competition shows 1L talents

By Michelle Kellogg, Moot Court Honors Board President

Top finishers Varun Sabharwal, Alec Rogers, and Kelsey Hamlett.

Moot Court Honors Board (MCHB) is extremely proud to announce the Distinguished Advocate Award recipients from this year’s 1L Gafford Trial Skills Competition.

On February 2, 36 1L students competed in the Gafford competition. All competitors were asked to present an opening or closing argument for a fictional criminal trial. Thirteen students advanced to the final round, in which they presented their same opening or closing argument in front of a jury of their peers.

The top three competitors were Kelsey Hamlett (first place), Varun Sabharwal (second place), and Alec Rogers (third place).

The 13 Gafford Competition finalists

All 13 finalists received Distinguished Advocate awards. The 13 finalists were:  Samantha Chavez, Krista Walker, Arthur Zverev, Emani Lawrence, Ryan Harris, Varun Sabharwal, Samantha Tumminello, Mimi Ford, Omar Hernandez, Kevin Rivas, Alec Rogers, Ming-Han Liu, and Kelsey Hamlett.  MCHB would like to acknowledge Mary Grace Jalandoni and Tyler Courtney, MCHB’s trial coordinators, for the extraordinary amount of time and effort they put in to putting on a fantastic event. MCHB would also like to thank Deborah Dixon, CWSL alum and competitive advocacy coach for the trial teams.

Read more about last trimester’s Moot Court competition teams. MCHB’s next event will be the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) workshop on Saturday, February 9. You are a negotiator every day that you are a lawyer. Come gain some practical insight into what it takes to do it as a competitor and in everyday life from CWSL’s ADR team.

MCHB is also looking for additional general board members who would like the opportunity to be an executive board member next year. We will be accepting applications until February 12 at noon. The application can be found on MCHB’s TWEN page and can be dropped off in MCHB’s cubby in the student organization room. Please email for more information.

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