Akron Law students win Ohio AG's Public Service Mock Trial Competition


Four Akron Law students participate in a mock trial competition virtually

The Akron Law team of (clockwise from top left) Katelyn Miller, Jake Leibas, Taylor Bennington and Katherine Mills took first place in the Ohio Attorney General’s 8th Annual Public Service Mock Trial Competition.

A team of four students from The University of Akron School of Law took first place in the Ohio Attorney General’s 8th annual Public Service Mock Trial Competition, held virtually on Friday, Nov. 18. 

Students Taylor Bennington, Jake Leibas, Katelyn Miller and Katherine Mills prevailed over teams from Capital University Law School, University of Cincinnati College of Law, University of Dayton School of Law, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and University of Toledo College of Law. 

The Public Service Mock Trial Competition is designed to provide a valuable learning opportunity for Ohio law school students interested in public service careers. Seasoned litigators from the public sector coach the teams. The Akron team was coached by Samantha Scherger and Lauren Emery of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

“The Public Service Trial Competition provides a great opportunity for students to put into practice the skills they learn in the classroom and from their coaches,” Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Charles Oldfield said. “It also allows students interested in public service to showcase their talents to prospective employers. The program is intended to provide an exceptional learning experience and encourage students to pursue occupations in the public sector.”

The students competed in two trials, performing once on behalf of the plaintiff and once on behalf of the defendant. Bennington and Miller each also received individual recognition for being the best attorney in their round. Due to the pandemic, the students were coached and competed completely remotely —a first for the competition. 

This year’s mock case, Evans v. Washingtonia State University, involved a civil lawsuit brought by college student Riley Evans. Evans alleged that the university failed to provide a safe learning environment and did not prevent hostile cyberbullying that substantially interfered with Evans’ education after Evans became the target of Facebook attacks while running for president in a mock election class offered by the university.