Carolyn Kenniston JD’16 and James Duffy JD’17 won the New England Regional Championship of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) National Student Trial Advocacy Competition on March 13 at the Suffolk Superior Court. In a competition that began with 16 schools from across New England, the students defeated Yale in the final round to advance to the nationals in New Orleans at the end of March.

Victory at the regionals has become a tradition at Suffolk Law, which has won the regionals of the AAJ Competition or the National Trial Competition (NTC) 27 times in the last 31 years. Suffolk Law's team was co-champion of the regionals of the NTC this fall. The trial teams' coach, Professor Timothy Wilton prepared the AAJ winners with the help of alumni Thomas Beauvais JD’10, Rachael Cancian JD’12, Paul Caruso, JD’07, LLM’10, and Amanda Fowle JD’10.

Kenniston, who wants to be a prosecutor when she graduates, said the competition experience, on her feet in front of strangers, was a great preparation for the real jury trials she’s handling in the law school’s Prosecutor’s Clinic. One of the lessons from Professor Wilton and the alumni, she said, was not to be overly theatrical, but she also learned that her voice could be too monotone at times. “I tried to strike a balance between that monotone quality and seeming to be too dramatic,” she said. The case she and Duffy were arguing hinged around whether a bar was responsible for a drunken patron’s car crash.