Trial Team Shines at National Civil Trial Competition

“Unbelievable poise and skill” – Director of Advocacy Programs Jules Epstein was effusive in his praise for National Trial Team members 3L Yashesh Patel, 3L Gabrielle Green, 2L Dylan Smith, and 2L Izabella Babchinetskaya, whose strong performance earned them semi-finalist honors at the 16th annual National Civil Trial Competition held October 20-22 in Santa Monica, CA.

Epstein noted two additional factors that were integral to the team’s success: their relentless work ethic, and the support they received from Trial Team alumni and faculty. “I could not be more proud of our advocates,” he said. “Their work ethic and professionalism were tremendous. Many practicing lawyers don’t try cases at this level.”

The team also had an all-star roster of Trial Team alumni and faculty backing them as they prepared, which Epstein described as a “true Temple effort.” “This is an important part of how we do things at Temple,” he explained. “Joel Michel and Courtney Chlebina, who were a phenomenal team as students, came back and spent hours scrimmaging with the team. Professor Sara Jacobson, also a graduate of the law school and the LL.M. in Trial Advocacy program, was there every step of the way. And my co-coach, Marissa Bluestine, is a 1995 graduate who excelled on Trial Team and now works as the Legal Director for the Innocence Project of Pennsylvania, which is housed here at Temple Law. This is Temple, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

The National Civil Trial Competition, co-sponsored by Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and the Santa Monica law firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, pits teams from 16 of the nation’s top law schools against one another over three days of argument. Now in its 16th year, the competition is one of the most prestigious in the nation, billed as a “Super Bowl” for law schools.