St. John’s University’s Mock Trial Team launched its 21st season
with an eighth-place finish among 22 nationally ranked contenders
participating in the 10th Annual Columbia University Big Apple
Invitational Tournament on October 20–21.
With five wins and three losses overall, the team beat Harvard
University, the University of Maryland and Iona College, while
losing one trial to Fordham. This was the second straight year the
Red Storm has defeated Harvard in mock trial competition. Ellen
Gong ’13C, St. John’s co-captain, was named one of the 10
outstanding student attorneys.
Columbia invited only the 22 top-ranked teams from 2011–12 to this
year’s tournament. St. John’s placed 18th out of 656 teams
competing last season.
“St. John’s will be a serious contender for the national title this
year,” said Coach
Bernard Helldorfer, Esq., ’77CBA, ’80L, Professor and Chair of
Criminal Justice and Legal Studies in the College of
Professional Studies. Prof. Helldorfer coaches the team along
with Oscar Holt, Esq., ’73C, ’76Ed, ’79L, Associate Professor of
Criminal Justice and Legal Studies.
“Our team,” Prof. Helldorfer explained, “is led by a core group of
seniors with three years’ experience, all of whom went to the
national championship finals last year. We performed extremely well
as a team in this early season tournament.”
The competition simulates an actual court case, with students
playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses for both plaintiff and
defense. Points are awarded for the students’ individual
St. John’s now looks forward to its next tournament at Tufts
University in Massachusetts on November 9–11 and upcoming
competitions at Drexel University and Fordham in January.