UofSC School of Law Mock Trial Team Advances to National Competition

The University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball plays in the Sweet Sixteen this Friday, but it is not the only UofSC team currently in the running for a national championship. On March 30, the USC School of Law Mock Trial team will compete at the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) National Trial Competition in Dallas for the second year in a row.

The team advanced to the national round after racking up yet another victory last month at the TYLA Regional Mock Trial. To make the win sweeter, USC also hosted the tournament for the first time.

Second-year students Colin Spangler and Clair Hollingsworth celebrate their victory at the 2016 TYLA regional competition.

Second-year students Colin Spangler and Clair Hollingsworth celebrate their victory at the 2016 TYLA regional competition.

The competition took place at the Lexington County Courthouse with 20 teams from 11 different schools, including Emory, University of Georgia, Wake Forest, and University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

The USC School of Law teams entered the final round of the regionals ranked 1 and 2, respectively. Colin Spangler and Clair Hollingsworth won every single ballot—17 total, which is a rare feat—then defeated Charleston Law to advance to the national tournament. In addition, Spangler won Best Overall Advocate.

“I am extremely proud of how Clair and I competed this past weekend. We both put in countless hours of work in preparing for the regional competition, and it was great to see it pay off,” Spangler says. “It also wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our coaches, Brett Bayne and Matt and Kinli Abee. They were there every step of the way and will be instrumental as we prepare for the national competition.”

The second team, which included Alexa Kluska and LeAnna McMenamin, lost to Wake Forest University School of Law by only one ballot, but still finished as finalists.

Coach Brett Bayne says he is extremely proud of his team. “They worked their hearts out, and it was a real treat not only to see their dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm put to the test, but to see it pay off.”

This victory marks the fourth competition win in 17 months, along with its second finish as finalist.  The first came in the William Daniel Mock Trial Competition.

Next week, the national competition will feature 28 law schools from around the country, including Harvard Law, Stanford Law School, and Yale Law School. Although the competition is steep, Bayne is confident in his team’s abilities and accomplishments.

“Our team has a level of dedication that is unique to our law school, and I am truly looking forward to seeing it showcased in Dallas.”