For the fifth year in a row, the Trial Advocacy Team from Massachusetts School of Law (MSL) will compete for the National Championship, based on its second-place finish in the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition for the Northeast Region of the National Black Law Students Association (BLSA). MSL was edged out by Harvard, which won the competition -- held January 22-26 in Albany, NY -- by a single point.
MSL has also sent seven teams to the National Finals in the last four years.
There are three winners for each of BLSA's six regions, with Harvard and two of MSL’s teams advancing to the National Finals in Milwaukee on March 12-16. The competition, which will take place during BLSA’s national convention, will pit the MSL team against winners from the other five regions in the country. The Northeast region is comprised of the 33 law schools in New England, New York and northern New Jersey.
MSL’s team won more awards this year than any other law school in the Trial Advocacy competition. The school's Advocacy Program is nationally recognized for its effectiveness at training new lawyers and its success in winning various regional and national awards. In the last five years, MSL teams have been national finalists in various advocacy competitions and won numerous awards including New England Trial Advocacy Champions, Northeast Region Trial Advocacy Champions, National Criminal Defense Trial Advocacy semi-finalist, and Northeast Region Trial Advocacy 1st Runner Up.
Alison Britton of Lexington, MA won the Best Oral Advocate Award this year. On multiple occasions, MSL student advocates have won the Best Oral Advocate Award of the competition in which they competed, including Nicole Dion in 2007 and 2008, Allen Woodward in 2009, Paul Stewart in 2010.
Team members are: Hadler Charles of Malden, MA; Poonam Choythani of Queens, NY; Caryl M. Garcia of Yonkers, NY; Calvin G. Carrasco of Durham, CT; Jessica L. Edwards of Keene NH; Allison Britton of Lexington, MA; Jason Herron of Easton, MA; Andrew Boulanger of Lewiston, ME; Marcia Stanley of Haverhill, MA; Jennifer Orelus of Woburn, MA; Amy Mousseau of Putnam, CT; Thato Beckford of Lawrence, MA; Everald Henry of Lowell, MA; Andy Dejean of Dorchester, MA; Charlie Luccia of Tewksbury, MA; and Jonathan Etesse of Medford, MA.
Coaches for the team are Associate Dean Michael L. Coyne; Essex County Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Gillespie; Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Mello; and Professors Darius Greene and Daniel Harayda.
About Massachusetts School of Law
Massachusetts School of Law’s mission is to provide a high quality, practical, and affordable legal education to deserving persons who have been unfairly excluded from law school. The school seeks to give these persons access to the societal advancement that is available, in law and other fields, to people with legal degrees. To accomplish its mission, Massachusetts School of Law serves persons from working-class backgrounds, minorities, mid-life individuals who seek to change careers, middle class people and immigrants. More information is available at www.mslaw.edu.