Law School’s team delivers an outstanding performance at the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition

Published June 19, 2014

“It was my great pleasure to serve as coach for such outstanding student advocates, and to watch them do UB and SUNY Buffalo Law School proud at the Competition.”
Lucinda Finley
Frank G. Raichle Professor of Trial and Appellate Advocacy and Vice Provost at the University at Buffalo

SUNY Buffalo Law School’s teams gave an outstanding performance at this year’s ABA National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition (NAAC) held March 7 to 9 in New York City.

Of more than 100 students from law schools around the country, Caitlin Higgins ’13 was awarded best overall oral advocate. Corey Forster ’13 won the 4th best overall oral advocate award.

The team of Caitlin Higgins '13 and Kinsey O’Brien ’13 won the award for second best brief, beating out 39 other teams in the regional competition. The team of Corey Forster'13, Adam Durst ’13, and Phil Modrzynski ’13 were regional finalists, and the team of Higgins and O’Brien were regional semi-finalists.

Lucinda Finley, Frank G. Raichle Professor of Trial and Appellate Advocacy and Vice Provost at the University at Buffalo, coached this year’s team.  “It was my great pleasure to serve as coach for such outstanding student advocates, and to watch them do UB and SUNY Buffalo Law School proud at the Competition,” she said.  Findley went on to note that no other school in the Competition came close to SUNY Buffalo Law School in winning so many of the individual oral advocacy and brief awards.

Sharing his congratulations on the team’s accomplishments and Finley’s leadership, Dean Makau Mutua said, “Great news, and congratulations to you and all those who work so hard to give our students these wonderful opportunities for them to excel.”

The ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience.  Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The competition involves writing a brief as either respondent or petitioner and then arguing the case in front of the mock court.