Northwestern Pritzker Law Team Wins Regional Student Trial Advocacy Competition, Advancing to National Championship


Student Experience
Bartlit Center trial team members
Joshua Jones, director of the Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy and clinical assistant professor of law., with trial center team members Gunhee Park (JD ’25), Aaron Pinkett (JD ’25), Ariana Addo-Yobo (JD ’24), and Raika Kim (JD ’25) following their victory at the Student Advocacy Trial Competition.

A team from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Bartlit Center on Trial Advocacy has won the regional Student Trial Advocacy Competition, an annual event sponsored by the American Association of Justice. The team will go on to compete for the national championship, which will be held in Chicago, April 4-7, 2024.

The team of Ariana Addo-Yobo (JD ‘24), Raika Kim (JD ‘25), Gunhee Park (JD ‘25), and Aaron Pinkett (JD ‘25) went undefeated throughout the competition to claim the regional championship, edging out teams from around the Midwest including University of Michigan, Kent, DePaul, Loyola, UIC John Marshall, and the University of Illinois. Of 160 teams that competed in eight regional tournaments across the country, the Bartlit Center team was only one of four teams that went undefeated.

The team is coached by Richard Levin of the Levin Riback Law Group and Joshua Jones, the director of the Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy and clinical assistant professor of law.  Jones praised the team’s hard work, dedication, kindness, and professionalism, all of which exemplified the values of the Bartlit Center Trial Team. Their performance was especially notable given that three members of the team were 2Ls with only one semester of experience on the trial team. “It’s rare for students to perform at such a high level so quickly,” said Jones. “They found ways to tap into their own humanity and lived experience to convey their case and their arguments in ways that set them apart from their opponents. They’ve got great careers ahead of them as litigators. And I can’t wait to see what they can do at the national competition.”

Another Bartlit Center team placed in the National Trial Competition regional finals, sponsored annually by the American College of Trial Lawyers, advancing out of the preliminary rounds and winning their semifinal round.

The Student Trial Advocacy Competition and the National Trial Competition are the largest and most competitive student trial competitions in country.

The Bartlit Center on Trial Advocacy was established in 1999 with the goal of preparing law students to become confident, skilled, and effective litigators. Bartlit Center students participate in nationally ranked, simulation-based teaching programs – among the finest in the country. Coursework includes ethics and professional responsibility, evidence, pre-trial litigation, trial technology, and trial advocacy. Students are additionally able to gain unparalleled experience and feedback competing on trial teams and participating in moot court.