Campbell Law School women beat out the competition at the Academy of the Advocate, which is hosted in St. Andrews, Scotland, earlier this month.
Mary Catherine Coltrane ’23 won best oral argument for the petitioner in the School of the Appeal, and Miranda Cromley ’23, Sydney Kraft ’24 and Chelsea Lewis ’24 were finalists in the School of the Trial, where Lewis also earned the award for Best Advocate.
The Academy of the Advocate is attended by law students from across the country. This particular program, hosted by Baylor Law School, allows students to hone and develop their advocacy skills in a beautiful, historic setting while attending lectures led by “some of the finest civil trial lawyers, criminal prosecutors, sitting judges and renowned advocacy professors in America.” This program allows students to choose from three sections: the School of the Trial, the School of the Appeal, and the Advanced School of the Trial.
The School of the Appeal allows students to perfect their advocacy skills within the realm of appellate oral arguments. During the two-week course, students write briefs and draft appellate arguments before presenting a final competitive oral argument. Following the final competition, Coltrane won best oral argument for the petitioner. Coltrane is a member of Campbell Law’s Moot Court Team, and she serves as president of the Christian Legal Society.
The School of the Trial allows students to hone their advocacy skills in a trial setting. During the course, students prepare and practice opening and closing statements, direct and cross examination and they receive valuable feedback on their work from skilled trial lawyers, professors and state and federal judges. At the end of the program, students participate in a mock trial competition, and the four best advocates are chosen to represent the plaintiff and defense in a final demonstration. Of the four advocates chosen, three were Campbell women. Cromley and Lewis were chosen to represent the defendant, and Kraft competed on behalf of the plaintiff.
The plaintiffs were crowned the victors following the final trial, and when Lewis received the Best Advocate award. Lewis is active on campus through her role as social media coordinator for Lambda Law, and Kraft has been chosen for Campbell Law School’s Mock Trial Team. Miranda Cromley is a member of the Moot Court team, the vice president of the Women in Law organization, and vice president of the Old Kivett Advocacy Council.