By Jennifer Barr
Pre-Law Advisor, Haverford College
Congratulations to the Haverford College Mock Trial team on hosting their first annual Black Squirrel Invitational this past weekend. As a completely student run event, it embodied the fortitude and determination that I see in our students every day. It also symbolized the strong rise in pre-law career exploration and culture that has developed on campus over the past eight years.
As Pre-Law Advisor for Haverford College, I have the privilege to work with incredibly talented students and alumni as they navigate the law school application cycle. But beyond law school applications, some of my favorite parts of the job are working with students long before the decision for law school even happens. Some history:
In 2008 Pre-Law Advising moved from the Dean’s office to the Center for Career and Professional Advising (CCPA). We wanted to make the Pre-Law experience at Haverford less about the law school application, and more about deciding whether or not law school is the right career track in the first place. We do this through career exploration, networking with law alumni through the Haverford College Lawyers Network, and a large amount of law-related programming including an annual “Careers in Law” week every February.
As the Pre-Law Office and CCPA developed law related content and programming, student groups were also primed to start their own law-related organizations on campus. Simultaneous to moving Pre-Law to the CCPA, a few students started the Haverford College Pre-Law Society, which is now in its 8th year and running strong. This year we are seeing the re-launch of The Bi-College Law Review, and are eager to see how this student organization will develop.
Perhaps the most active and visible law-related student organization started in 2014 when three first-year students started the Haverford College Mock Trial team. Their rise has been well documented though the CCPA blog, and their reputation on campus has grown considerably, starting with one team in 2014 and adding a team each year. Now three-teams strong, they have elevated their reputation beyond campus in regional competitions, and hosted their first invitational this past weekend.
The Black Squirrel Invitational was a great success. Completely student organized and run, they welcomed ten schools and 20 teams to Haverford from as far North as Ithaca, NY and as far South as Dallas, TX. It’s hard to put into words the amount of work and dedication that these students put into this event, and it was an honor to watch them work. I know they are eager to offer this as an annual event, learning from each experience to make it even stronger.
As a first-time mock trial judge, I was also so impressed with the level of dedication, quality of work, and skill that each school and team attending brought forth. Their energy was contagious and I hope they enjoyed participating in the trials as I much as I enjoyed judging them.
Thank you to the Mock Trial team for letting me be a part of your incredible event. Thanks also to the considerable amount of mock trial judges – lawyers, alumni, pre-law advisors, friends of the college – who volunteered their time on a weekend, and to Haverford’s Student Activities Director Michael Elias for his guidance.
Most importantly, I would like to especially congratulate every member of the Haverford College Mock Trial team, especially tournament directors and leaders Jordan McGuffee, Liv Phillips, Drew Evans and Isabella Canelo Gordan, and Coaches Jeff Monhait ’09 and Renae Axelrod (pictured above.) You put on an incredible event that will hopefully be the foundation for many invitationals to come!
BLACK SQUIRREL INVITATIONAL 2016
First Place: George Washington University B
Second Place: University of Pennsylvania A
Third Place: Hamilton College A
Honorable Mention: Brown University B
First Place: Cindy Molina, University of Rochester
Second Place: Padon Gallagher: George Washington University B
Third Place: Ayah Housini, University of Texas, Dallas
Fourth Place: Thomas Rukaj, University of Texas, Dallas
Fifth Place: Hannah Bloom, George Washington University B
Honorable Mention: Zachary Carter (University of Rochester),
Luke Meyer (University of Delaware), Erin Donavan (Saint Rose)
First Place: Adhavan Adityon, University of Pennsylvania A
Second Place: Erin Holleran, University of Delaware B
Third Place: Andrew Fischer, Hamilton College B
Fourth Place: Bryce Muradick, Hamilton College A
Fifth Place: Sarah Fritz, University of Delaware A
“HARDEST NUT TO CRACK” AWARD