Nader Amer and Michael Slobom Win 1L Mock Trial Competition
The competition was tough, and it was a close decision. First-year law students Nader Amer and Michael Slobom earned the win at Dickinson Law’s 1L mock trial competition on March 17 in the Apfelbaum Family Courtroom and Auditorium, Lewis Katz Hall, Dickinson Law. Sixteen teams competed in the competition, which was co-chaired by third-year law students and National Trial Team members Francesca Kester and Christian Burne.
The two highest-scoring prosecution and defense teams from the preliminary rounds advanced to the championship round, which was presided over by Adjunct Professor David Fitzsimons and judged by Fitzsimons, Kester and Raymond Baker, a member of the National Trial Team. As the highest scoring defense team, Amer and Slobom competed against Andrea Jenkins and Rebecca Marsnik—the highest scoring prosecution team.
Slobom’s interests in litigation and trial advocacy have been growing since he started law school. “Before I came to Dickinson Law, I wasn’t set on the type of practice that I wanted to pursue. During our first semester in our Problem Solving I class, we gained practical exposure to both litigation and transactional work. Everyone participated in a variety of simulation exercises, from client interviews to depositions. My interest in litigation began to develop in that class, and I saw this competition as another opportunity for me to continue developing the skills that I will need to one day become a trial lawyer.”
Amer and Slobom are no strangers to the courtroom, having previously worked together on similar projects.
“Nader and I have a good understanding of how the other works and make a solid team,” said Slobom.
After they received the case file, Amer and Slobom each reviewed the materials to determine the most compelling theme of the case. They met and synthesized their themes into one coherent story. Once they developed a solid foundation, Amer and Slobom conducted direct and cross examinations and critiqued each other, adjusting their questions for style and presentation. The day before the final round, they conducted a full trial in the auditorium.
Amer said his biggest takeaway from participating in the competition was that holding to a script never works. “No matter how much you memorize or anticipate an argument, something is going to change or go awry. It’s really important to just prepare as best you can, make a general structure for yourself and be flexible.”
After participating in the competition, Amer decided to pursue a certificate in trial advocacy during his second year of law school.
Slobom believes that this competition is an opportunity to learn more about what type of practice he would like to pursue. “It is also a great opportunity to receive valuable feedback and advice from the third-year students who are currently members of Dickinson Law’s National Trial Team. I would definitely recommend it to incoming first-year students.”
Photo: Nader Amer (left) and Michael Slobom (right) took the championship round to win Dickinson Law’s 1L mock trial competition on March 17, 2017 in the Apfelbaum Family Courtroom and Auditorium.