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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Mock trial team advances to Opening Round Championship Series

The team advanced to the Opening Round Championship Series for the first time in the team’s history. (Courtesy Joseclyn Caldwell)

The Tulane University Mock Trial team competed in the Opening Round Championship Series tournament in Memphis, Tennessee on March 8, the first time the team has advanced to the regional competition.

The team competed against 192 universities in the weekend-long competition. 

They did not place at ORCs, but students received individual character witness awards and the team will now be nationally ranked for the first time in the club’s history. 

“It’s a bummer that we’re not going to nationals,” president and junior Eleni San said. “But it’s an indicator that we are moving in the right direction and that the team is starting off on a better foot than it has ever been before.”  

The Tulane Mock Trial team began in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and originally met over Zoom. The team prepared throughout the year by competing in invitationals at different schools around the country and regional competitions run by the American Mock Trial Association. 

As part of the competition, each team gets a case at the beginning of the school year, and each member is assigned a role in the trial. Junior Robbie Johnson took on multiple different roles and won an award for their role as a witness. 

“When a person wins an individual award, it’s not really a reflection of them, but rather the team,” Johnson said. 

According to San, half of the members of the ORCs team have been involved in the club for  only one or two years. San said she believes that one of the team’s main challenges in the past has been a lack of sufficient funding from Tulane.

“We weren’t ranked until now because we went to ORCs, so I think it’ll be easier to get funding,” San said. “That has been one of our hiccups.” 

There are currently 26 members on the Tulane Mock Trial. The members are split into an A and a B team in teams of about 10 each. The B team did not advance to regionals, however, some members of the B team were able to join the A team for regionals. The teams competed in a total of six regional competitions this year. 

According to Johnson, they were also grateful for the opportunity to compete against highly ranked teams. 

“I personally love a challenge, and the farther that we got, the harder the competition was; ORCs was this pinnacle point for our team,” Johnson said.

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