Mock trial team places 6th in nation

Cornell’s young mock trial program surprised just about everyone by placing sixth in the nation in April, defeating schools including Princeton and Yale. Two Cornell students were named All-American attorneys.

“This is a remarkable feat for such a new team, and beyond our wildest expectation,” said Sheryl Atkinson Stoll ’70, a trustee and attorney who chairs the Pre-Law Advisory Committee.

Cornell’s competition was mostly large universities. Among them were New York University, University of Virginia, Columbia University, University of Virginia, University of California-Los Angeles, Rhodes College, Princeton, Vanderbilt, and Yale.

On the way to their sixth-place finish, the team (one of two at Cornell) won numerous accolades. At the championship round, Annika Strombom ’10 and Madeline Roche ’10 were recognized as Intercollegiate All-American Attorneys for their individual performances as defense and prosecution attorneys. In the opening round, Strombom was also recognized as an outstanding attorney for her work as a defense attorney, earning 19 out of a possible 20 rank points.

At the regional competition where they qualified for the opening round of the national tournament, Strombom and Roche were both recognized as outstanding attorneys and Francis Dixson ’10 was recognized with an outstanding witness award.

Mock trial is only in its fourth year at Cornell. The team is coached by Abbe Stensland, an attorney with the Cedar Rapids firm Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman. Kristofer Lyons was the team’s original coach. The Pre-Law Program’s faculty director is Politics Professor Craig Allin, and its staff coordinator is RJ Holmes ’99.