On February 19-21, the University of South Carolina School of Law will not only host a regional round of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) National Trial Competition, it will also be defending its title. The team took first place in 2015—one of three tournament wins in less than a calendar year.
“We won back-to-back victories at the Carolinas Invitational in 2014 and 2015, and we’re hoping to repeat here as well,” said coach Brett Bayne. “To capture our fourth win while on our home turf would just be wonderful.”
Bayne said hosting the event is an honor and a boon to both the School of Law and the law community. “We were excited to be chosen. It means a lot for the mock trial program because it allows local attorneys and judges be involved in this competition. For the students, it’s a great opportunity to show off their skills with the very people they will soon be working alongside.”
But it’s not just local lawyers who are getting involved. “I’ve been really surprised by the outpouring of support from attorneys outside of the Midlands who are going to be traveling in to judge. We have folks from Georgia, DC, and North Carolina coming in to volunteer their time.”
That said, not all slots are filled, and Bayne encourages anyone interested in participating to contact him. “Right now, we are recruiting both local attorneys to judge and law students and undergraduates to be witnesses. There are many ways for people within the legal community to be involved.”
This year’s competition will be held at the Lexington County Courthouse, but Bayne is already working to host the tournament at the new law school. “Our new building will have four working courtrooms, plus first class amenities that really reflect the high caliber of our school. It will be ideal for when the competition returns to Columbia, possibly as early as 2018.”
But for now, Bayne is focused on making this event—the first of the semester—a success and getting another win under the team’s belt before heading off to other tournaments, including in Tallahassee, Raleigh, and Houston. And quite possibly a second trip to the TYLA nationals.
Interested in participating in the TYLA Mock Trial Regional Competition? Contact Brett Bayne at firstname.lastname@example.org.