Members of the Georgia State University College of Law Student Trial Lawyers Association (STLA) finished as finalists in the annual South Texas Mock Trial Challenge, March 22-25, which brings together nearly 30 teams from law schools across the country.
This marks another success in a banner year for STLA. Georgia State teams also won the William Daniel National Mock Trial Competition and the MockingBird Challenge in the fall and were semi-finalists in the American Association for Justice (AAJ) southeast regional competition in March.
In South Texas, Anne Cameron Boone (J.D. ’19), Cameron Mobley (J.D. ’18) and Christopher Ryan (J.D. ‘18) advanced to the final round against University of Georgia School of Law and placed second overall. Mobley received the Outstanding Advocate award and Boone received the Outstanding Brief award.
“This is a stellar team—their preparation, talent and hard work is evident in the outcome,” said Jessica Gabel Cino, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law. “The STLA program is a cornerstone of our student co-curriculars. The students and alumni coaches invest time and dedication to these competitions and the results have been phenomenal.”
Boone joined STLA to gain practical experience of trying cases and “put the theory of the law into practice.” This was her first mock trial competition, and she found it to be an extremely worthwhile experience.
“Participating in the competition was informative, exhilarating and rewarding. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the trial process. I had guidance along the way but was able to be creative in my role as a witness at the same time,” Boone said. “Writing the brief was time consuming, but definitely worth it. I enjoyed the research topic and the process of writing it. I was happy to win the Outstanding Brief award.”
Mobley agrees the team’s hard work paid off – in more ways than making it to the finals.
“Preparing for the competition was exciting and demanding, but worth more than I can express in words. The problem came out late this year, so the timeline was shorter than I was used to. It was a ton of hard work, but I enjoyed it because it forced us to work in a way we weren’t comfortable with – and the competition itself was incredible,” Mobley said.
Along with Cheryl Champion White (J.D. ’93), Tom Jones, the head of Georgia State Law’s mock trial program, coached this team to the finals. Jones also coached Mobley and Ryan in the William Daniel National Competition, at which the team only lost one juror’s vote throughout the competition.
“The success of the program is the work of Tom Jones—he a fierce force of nature. His dedication is demonstrated by how many of our alums return to coach and trumpet STLA as the signature experience in law school that prepared them for practice,” Cino said.
According to Mobley, STLA was his most fulfilling experience at Georgia State Law.
“Mock trial has given me the opportunity to travel, hone my craft and meet tons of great people. I wouldn’t trade it for all the tea in china,” he said. “I recommend it to anyone with an interest in trial work, as well as those that aren’t quite sure what they want to do.”