IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law will compete against teams from 12 states during the National Black Law Students Association’s (NBLSA) Midwest regional convention February 6 to 9 in St. Louis. The top two teams in the Midwest tournament will join ten teams from five other regions at the national finals March 6 to 10 in Atlanta. (IIT Chicago-Kent has advanced to the national finals in each of the last two years.)
Third-year students Keenan Daniels and Sivonnia Hunt and second-year students Samantha Buckley and Grant Miller will represent IIT Chicago-Kent in the tournament. The team is coached by Cook County Circuit Court Judges Maxwell Griffin Jr. and Donald Havis.
The NBLSA Mock Trial Competition, established in 2002, is named for the Honorable Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Known for his work as special counsel for the NAACP in the landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Justice Marshall amassed an enviable trial record. As a civil rights attorney, he won 29 of the 32 cases he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court between 1940 and 1961. As a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1961 to 1965, he made 112 rulings—none of which were reversed on certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court. Appointed U.S. Solicitor General in 1965, he won 14 of the 19 cases he argued on behalf of the government. Justice Marshall was elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Johnson in 1967, where he served until his retirement in 1991. He died in 1993.
Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is celebrating “125 years of distinctive legal education.” IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. The law school established a chapter of NBLSA in 1974. IIT Chicago-Kent’s trial advocacy teams have won numerous individual student honors and regional and national competitions. The most recent U.S. News & World Report ranked IIT Chicago-Kent’s trial advocacy program among the top five in the country.