On Oct. 14, 2010, The Landskroner Foundation for Children hosted its 12th Annual Law Student Closing Argument Competition in the courtroom of the Honorable Michael Donnelly at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center. The twelve students participating in the event were selected from a pool of applicants from law schools across the state of Ohio. The participants included second-and third-year law students from The University of Akron, Cleveland State University, and Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
In the competition, each student was given 15 minutes to argue on behalf of an injured child who lost his ability to speak as a result of medical negligence. Each student presented the case of their 14-year-old client to a jury comprised of experienced trial lawyers, esteemed Judges from the Court of Common Pleas, in Cuyahoga County, media representations, and child advocates. This year Christina Spallina from Case Western Reserve University School of Law was the first place winner, finishing second was Wes Buchanan, from the University of Akron, and finishing third was Daniel Leister, also from the University of Akron. The top three finishers received scholarship awards in the amount of $750, $500 and $200, respectively.
Since the inception of this program over 143 law students from across Ohio have competed and over $17,000 in scholarship awards have been distributed to the competition winners.
The Landskroner Foundation for Children is a nonprofit child advocacy organization founded as an outgrowth of the personal injury law practice of the Cleveland-based law firm of Landskroner • Grieco • Madden, LLC. The Foundation’s mission includes promoting safe and positive environments for children as well as protecting the rights of children through education and recognition of children’s needs. The Law Student Closing Argument Competition was created to encourage law students to consider public interest work after graduation from law school and to remind these future lawyers of their civic responsibility to the communities in which they choose to practice law.