BSL Students Participate in AAJ Mock Trial Competition

Two teams of Birmingham School of Law students participated in the annual American Association for Justice Southern Regional Mock Trial Competition held the first weekend in March. Shunnarah Injury Lawyers hosted the event which was held at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham.


The mock trial competition is about developing trial advocacy skills, says BSL alumnus Michael Bell. “Competition is one of the best tools a school has to introduce students to trial advocacy,” he says. “I would suggest that every law student should participate in a mock trial.”


Daniel Fortune, a BSL team coach, says a mock trial team is “where the rubber meets the road.” He adds, “It’s one thing to have memorized the rules of evidence and civil procedure, but it’s an entirely different matter to have to apply the rules and facts while standing before a judge and jury of practicing civil trial attorneys and judges. The students who participate in the mock trial gain invaluable experience by standing before a judge and jury while making their arguments.”


The team members competed against other law schools from the Southeast, including Mississippi College, Ole Miss, and LSU. “Our team did an excellent job of representing Birmingham School of Law, and each of them now knows what it takes to prepare a case for trial and to actually present it before a judge and jury,” Fortune says. “They received constructive feedback about their arguments, witness interrogation techniques, and overall presentation. Mock trial is the best opportunity for a law student to prepare to be an actual trial attorney.”


BSL Dean James Bushnell is proud of the students who represented the school. “Our team performed well against stiff competition and scored high in all categories. That indicates that our students have a firm grasp of the skills necessary to try a lawsuit,” he says. “We are proud of their dedication and determination to excel.”


Volunteer judges and BSL student volunteers were instrumental to the competition’s success.


Volunteer Judges

Erin Adams                               Professor Terry McCarthy

Professor Payne Baker              Professor Charles Miller

Professor John Bodie                Professor Wilson Myers

Chris Burrell                             Brad Phillips

Katherine Elmore                     Alexis Thomas

Martin Evans                             Jeremy Schatz

Professor Stacy Hansen             Professor Hannah Thompson

Amanda Hardy                          Professor Stephen Thompson

Kathryn Kyatt King                    Tom Walker



Student Volunteers

Lakedra Armstead                     Rebecca Hyche

Adam Bailey                             Jakki James

Melody Banks                           Laura Kirby

Kat Bedwell                              Evita McClinton

Cristie Bussey                           Tonya Mines

Jennifer Cox                             Don Mosely

Alex Davies                               Nikki Rhodes

Andy D’Entremont                    Gloria Sellers

Kellie Ewing                             Jason Sessions

Denise Grisham




BSL Trail Team Members Left to Right:

Back Row: Travis McCormick, Judson Sills, Ray Foushee, Jim Bushnell III, Micheal Bell

Front Row: Jennifer Jones, Zane Purdy, Alecia Washington


Left to Right:

Demetruis Taylor, Jennfier Jones, Zane Purdy, Candace Avery, Alecia Washington, Travis McCormick


Photo credit to Bob Mayeri.