Quinnipiac University

Law student finishes in top 10 of national trial advocacy competition

April 27, 2020

Caitlin Murphy in a mock courtroom, speaking to a mock jury

Caitlin Murphy, JD ’20, finished 7th out of 170 students in the United States in the inaugural National Online Trial Advocacy Competition, co-hosted by Fordham and UCLA Law.

The competition invited students from across the country to submit opening statements from an abridged case file, captioned: United States v. Mel Tam. The case was a loose adaption of the celebrity college admissions cheating scandal. Students were required to quickly pick a side, prepare an opening statement and record it for submission, keeping the school affiliation anonymous.

“We could not be prouder of Caitlin’s accomplishment and overall development as an advocate,” said Ryan O’Neill, a partner at a Connecticut-based law firm. “Beyond Caitlin, we continue to be inspired by the resolve of all of our students, who continue to not only endure these tough times, but also find ways to shine amid difficult circumstances.”

O’Neill and Sean McGuinness, who are both attorneys and teach mock trial at Quinnipiac, coached Murphy.

With very limited assistance from her coaches, Murphy quickly put together an outstanding opening statement acting on behalf of the defense. Recorded in her living room, Murphy set the stage for the college admissions scandal, drawing on her Quinnipiac Law school mock trial experience.

Caitlin Murphy in a mock courtroom, speaking to a mock jury

See her opening argument here:

In total, more than 400 judges, lawyers, coaches and professors from across the United States scored opening statements from 170 students representing 67 law schools. After the first round of scoring, the top 30 submissions were selected and scored by a separate set of judges. Of those 30 students, the top 10 were again scored by a separate set of judges, who ultimately determined the order of the 10 amazing finalists. The results were revealed on April 17.

School of Law

JD Program

Related articles

Two women play a video game.

Inaugural Bobcat Day a roaring success

After two years of planning for Bobcat Day, Sophia Marshall ’21 looked around the Mount Carmel Auditorium and smiled. The students kept coming, just like she had always hoped.

Read More
Headshot of Erin Provistalis

Director of campus life honored with national award

Erin Provistalis, director of campus life for student centers and student involvement at Quinnipiac, has been named the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA) Region IX Orientation, Transition and Retention Professional of the Year.

Read More
Rachel Reyes

Quinnipiac student awarded employee of the year for Quinnipiac, Connecticut

Rachel Reyes ’21 was named this year’s student employee of the year — at Quinnipiac as well as for the State of Connecticut!

Read More
Students work on a garden.

University's new rain garden to benefit wildlife for miles around

More than two dozen members of the university community came together this weekend to support environmental and sustainability initiatives at Quinnipiac that will have positive impacts for the region.

Read More
Haley Wong

Student personifies what it means to be a Bobcat

Haley Wong '21, DPT '24, was drawn to Quinnipiac because of the outstanding connections students are able to utilize to reach their professional goals.

Read More

Stay in the Loop

Sign Up Now