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National Champs! LSU Law team wins National Civil Rights Mock Trial Competition

Two male and two female students hold a plaque and a trophy and pose for a photo with St. John's University logo in the background

Pictured are team members Sohil Sharedalal, Brandi Barze, Meagan Johnson, and Ahmed Soussi. Not pictured is team alternate Garrett Wick.

The LSU Law Center added to its trophy case with another mock trial national championship.

LSU Law’s Civil Rights team took home first place in the Peter James Johnson National Civil Rights Trial Competition on Oct. 22 at St. John’s University School of Law in New York City. The team of  Sohil Sharedalal, Brandi Barze, Meagan Johnson, and Ahmed Soussi defeated Suffolk Law School in the final round to claim the title.

“I am thrilled at the success of our National Civil Rights Mock Trial Competition team,” said professor Jeff Brooks, director of LSU Law’s Field placements and Moot Court/Trial Advocacy Program and coach of the Civil Rights team. “The students spent weeks preparing their presentations in this extremely challenging civil racketeering case, and their hard work and dedication clearly paid off. I could not be more proud of them.”

The LSU Law team kick off the competition with its preliminary round at the New York State Supreme Court for Nassau County on Oct. 19. From there, the teeam kept rolling through subsequent rounds in the St. John’s Univesity Belson Moot Court Room to claim LSU Law’s third mock trial national title in three years.

“Our students faced some of the top trial advocacy programs in the United States at this invitation-only tournament,” Brooks said. “They were repeatedly praised by their judges for command of the rules of evidence, their theory of the case, and their professionalism.”

Last year, LSU placed as national quarterfinalists and one of the top eight teams in the nation at the Civil Rights Trial Competition, with William & Mary taking the 2016-17 title.

The only national civil rights trial competition in the country, the annual four-day Peter James Johnson Competition offers law students from 16 law schools throughout the country an opportunity to try a civil rights case in an actual courtroom setting before prominent jurists and trial attorneys. This year’s civil rights case is loosely based on the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan.