National 'Best Attorney' Award Goes to BU Undergrad Mock Trial Student
by Alan Hunt
Baylor Undergraduate Mock Trial team member Ashley Stewart was honored as a top attorney at the national finals of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) held in Des Moines, Iowa. Stewart received 19 out of a possible 20 points from the judges to win a "Best Attorney" award in the contest.
Established recently as a campus organization and competing in its first year as an AMTA member, the Baylor Undergraduate Mock Trial team qualified for the national finals in February this year by winning the regional contest in Birmingham, Ala., which attracted 24 teams from schools in Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Heather A. Creed, a Baylor law graduate and director of student relations at Baylor Law School, who also serves as faculty advisor and coach to the organization, said the team performed well at the national finals, topping 23 teams from such prestigious universities as the University of Texas; University of California, Berkeley; Cornell; Princeton; Vanderbilt; Rhodes College; and the College of William and Mary. "The competition started this year with around 577 teams and 64 teams made it to the finals. We placed around 28th out of the 64 teams," Creed said. "There were 4 rounds with 2 ballots for each round, meaning 8 ballots total. We won 4 ballots and lost 4 ballots."
In addition to Best Attorney winner Ashley Stewart, Baylor was represented by Elizabeth LeConey, Sorana Ban, Nora Farah, Taylor Norwood, Ryan Kreck, and team president and captain Will Hueske.
Creed said the Baylor Undergraduate Mock Trial became an officially chartered student organization in the fall of 2003. A year later, the organization hosted a mock trial tournament on campus, the Green and Gold Invitational, which attracted a number of teams from all over Texas and out of state. Creed said students from any area of study can certainly benefit from the public speaking and critical thinking skills that are developed and sharpened through mock trial. "The legal knowledge that students acquire through competition will undoubtedly serve them in any profession," she said.
For more information about the Baylor Undergraduate Mock Trial organization, call Creed at 710-7617.