Ivey named outstanding advocate at trial competition

A second-year College of Law student walked away from the Region 8 National Trial Competition this month with the title of outstanding advocate.

Erika Ivey was part of a three-member student team that traveled to Montgomery, Alabama, Feb. 7-9 to represent the University of Tennessee College of Law in the National Trial Competition’s regional match up.

The UT College of Law team advanced to the quarter-final round of the regional before being defeated. But of the 34 student attorneys who participated in the three-day event, Ivey was named the top student advocate.

“It is such an honor,” Ivey said. Preparing for the competition “involved a lot of time and hard work, and I’m very proud of how our team performed. It was a hard competition, for sure.”

In addition to Ivey, the UT College of Law team included second-year students Dave Hall and Sean Roberts coached by Knoxville attorneys Carl Eshbaugh and Nicholas Lee. The University of Tennessee students faced 19 teams from 12 schools in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and argued a case of negligent homicide resulting from a single vehicle accident. 

The National Trial Competition is an annual event co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Texas Young Lawyers Association. It exposes law students to the nature of trial practice and attracts teams from more than 140 law schools and involves more than 1,000 law students each year.

Teams that are successful this month at the regional level advance to the national competition that will take place in Texas in March.

In the Region 9 competition Feb. 21-23 in Indianapolis, Indiana, a second College of Law team comprised of Jamarcus Bradford, Katelyn Sanders, and Elana Samuels advanced to the final round of competition before being defeated.

While Ivey is disappointed that the UT College of Law team didn’t advance to the national level of competition, she said she hopes to take another stab at it next year – if given the opportunity.

“I would highly recommend this competition to anyone who is interested in doing trial work,” she said. “It was a great experience to put yourself out there, learn more about the law, and interact with classmates toward this common goal.

“I’m exhausted, but I would absolutely do it again.”


This story was updated March 1 to include additional details about the outcome of the Region 9 competition.