Student Sam Nicholson takes best advocate honors at National Trial Advocacy Competition

Posted On November 3, 2009
Categories STLA Tags

ATLANTA – Sam Nicholson, a third-year student at Georgia State University College of Law, won Best Advocate at the 10th Annual National Trial Advocacy Competition hosted by Michigan State University College of Law in October.

Nicholson feels privileged to have won Best Advocate and describes his experiences with theStudent Trial Lawyers Association (STLA) as the best thing he’s done in law school.

“It is the practical side of practicing law that most appeals to me,” he said. “The idea of being in the court room, making an argument, stating your case and the competition is really a fulfilling experience.”

Nicholson, an Augusta, Ga. native, came to law school with an interest in trial law and tried out for STLA during his second year. “I had been predisposed to the trial practice through family history and was drawn to that area,” he said.

STLA’s mission is to educate and train future litigators in Georgia. STLA at Georgia State Law has an outstanding reputation, with the most successful mock trial record of all Georgia’s law schools.

“Our Mock trial program under Tom Jones’ guidance is very well respected, especially throughout the southeast and even nationally,” Nicholson said. “It gives participants the practical experience of practicing law and being in a court room that they don’t necessarily get every day in law school.”

STLA members are second- and third-year law students, and the team participates in a number of annual competitions across the country.

“We are really proud of Sam,” STLA President William F. Smith III said. “This is not only a great accomplishment for our school, it is a testament to our Mock Trial Program.”

Upcoming competitions include the Buffalo Invitational, hosted by University at Buffalo Law School in Buffalo, NY, and The William Daniel Mock Trial Invitational, hosted by the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, both of which take place in November. Regional competitions will be held in February, hosted by the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association.

For more information about STLA, please visit their website at contact Smith at

By Abby Ferrell, Georgia State Law student

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