Six members of the UMKC Undergraduate Mock Trial Team competed at the National Diversity Mock Trial Competition in Chicago earlier this April. The competition was established to encourage interest in the law among diverse undergraduate students and is hosted by the John Marshall School of Law. Student participants conducted full trials in a courtroom setting and experienced how the law is practiced and applied. The competition was judged by law students and local attorneys and judges.
UMKC was awarded five of the eight total awards given at the competition (4 top team awards and 4 top individual speaker awards). And perhaps even more impressive, all six competing team members are first-year mock trial competitors. The UMKC Mock Trial team was awarded the 2nd (Matias Bichara, junior), 3rd (Rayyan Umrani, junior) and 4th (Ida Ayalew, freshman) place team awards. In addition, Rayyan Umrani was awarded the 1st place top speaker award, and freshman Brody Sabor was awarded the 2nd place top speaker award. In addition to awards, the students earned tuition waivers towards their first year of law school at select law schools: Rayyan Umrani ($21,000), Matias Bichara ($9,000), Brody Sabor ($9,000) and Ida Iyalew ($3,000).
The team is composed of undergraduate students and try-outs are held in the Fall of every year. The team is coached by Jessica Bernard (Ensz & Jester and UMKC adjunct instructor), Anthony McDaniel (UMKC alumnus and current UMKC School of Law student), Irene Downs (UMKC alumna), Amanda Mendon (UMKC alumna), and Kate Young (UMKC alumna).