Winford and Murdock Win 1L Closing Argument Competition

Pictured from left: 1L Closing Argument Competition Champion Ashley Winford, Finalist Krystsina Kananchuk, Finalist Shannon McEachern, and Champion Frank Murdock. Pictured in back from left: Sonia Brodie (’19), Rebecca Chinery (’19), and Cody Chinery (’19) served as judges in the final round. 

The 10th Annual 1L Closing Argument Competition took place on January 25 in the NIU Law Francis X. Riley Courtroom. This unique competition was started by Distinguished Teaching Professor David Taylor with in order to provide first-year law students with an opportunity to apply the facts of a case to the jury instructions and deliver a closing.

“For most students, this competition provides them with their first “hands-on” experience to deliver an argument on their feet,” said Professor Taylor.  “It is a good academic exercise and helps them on their way to thinking and acting like lawyers,” he added.

Also instrumental to the competition’s long-standing success is the Trial Ad Society which helps to organize, recruit, and run the competition. This year, 30 first-year students entered the competition and 25 upper-class students judged them in the preliminary rounds. The final round was judged by NIU Law alumni Sonia Brodie (’19), Rebecca Chinery (’19) and Cody Chinery (’19). The 1L finalists were Shannon McEachern and Krystsina Kananchuck and 2020 Champions were Ashley Winford and Frank Murdock.

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