Miami Mock Trial wins National Championship

By Susan Meikle, university news and communications 


Miami Mock Trial team and coaches after winning the 2018 National Mock Trial Championship Tournament.

The Miami University James Lewis Family Mock Trial Program team won the  2018 American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 20-22, beating defending runner-up Yale University.

Seniors Danielle Kunkel and Isabella Seeberg won All-American Attorney Awards, and senior Da’Rya McAllister won an All-American Witness Award.

Forty-eight teams competed in the national tournament after starting the season with a field of more than 600 teams from more than 400 colleges and universities — making collegiate mock trial the largest academic competition in the country. 

The 48-team national championship field is divided into two 24-team fields with the two first-place teams playing for the national championship.  

The two divisional winners were Miami and Yale. Yale won the 2016 National Championship and was runner up in 2017.

Miami’s national championship team was coached by business legal studies professors and attorneys Neal Schuett, Lawrence Hilton and Gus Lazares (Miami '10); attorneys Jamie Glinka (Miami ’10), Emily Homel Arnzen (Miami ’10) and Matt Rich; law school student Ben Sandlin (Miami ’16), and alumnus Alex Block (member of Miami’s national tournament teams, 2011-2014).

The national championship team members: 


Miami Mock Trial team 1050, left to right: Lizzie Harden, Da'Rya McAllister, Spencer Campbell, Chase Shelton, Chase Mulholland, Maria Hooker, Julia Pair, Dani Kunkel, Austin Worrell and Bella Seeberg.

Senior members
  • Maria Hooker: public health and pre-medical studies co-major, nutrition minor from Cincinnati. She plans to work in clinical research in Cincinnati next year before attending medical school.
  • Danielle “Dani” Kunkel: team captain, Chinese major and history and business legal studies double minor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She will attend Wake Forest School of Law this fall.
  • Da’Rya McAllister: black world studies major and French minor from Cleveland. She plans to take a gap year before attending law school.
  • Julia Pair: social justice and professional writing double major from Nashville, Tennessee. She will attend Washington University School of Law this fall.
  • Isabella “Bella” Seeberg: team captain, political science and economics double major from Naperville, Illinois. She will attend the University of Wisconsin Law School this fall.
  • Chase Shelton: political science, English literature and philosophy triple major from Chesterfield, Missouri. He will attend Boston University Law School this fall.
  • Austin Worrell, political science major from Cincinnati. He plans to law clerk and coach Miami Mock Trial before attending law school.
Other members
  • Spencer Campbell: junior music and arts management double major, business legal studies minor from Centerville.
  • Lizzie Harden: first year journalism and political science double major from Centerville.
  • Chase Mulholland: sophomore Spanish and international studies double major from Indianapolis, Indiana.

James Lewis Family Mock Trial Program

The James Lewis Family Mock Trial Program is housed in the Sue J. Henry Center for Pre-Law Education and coached by the business legal studies faculty, attorneys and mock trial program alumnae. 

The program fields three teams each year. It is a co-curricular activity  — participants receive a single credit hour per semester and are graded.  

Schuett is executive director; the regular coaching staff includes Schuett, Hilton, Lazares, Glinka, Rich and Sandlin.

Dan Herron, professor of business legal studies and founder of the program, is director emeritus.  

The program is open to all undergraduate students, with a tryout in early September each year. 

For more information, go to

Miami has qualified teams to the Mock Trial National Tournament for 25 consecutive years, longer than any other program in the country except for Rhodes College.  It has placed in the top 10 at the National Tournament  for 11 consecutive years.

Miami Mock Trial has been ranked in the top 10 of all collegiate mock trial programs for more than 10 years.