June 8, 2015
Selena Farnesi, '15, established herself as one of the best student advocates in the country, tying for an impressive third place in Baylor Law School's 2015 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition, held June 4-7 in Waco, Texas. Farnesi, who graduated from McGeorge three weeks prior to the tournament, also earned the Most Professional Award on a vote of her fellow competitors in the 16-person field.
The Top Gun tournament is an invitation-only mock trial event where the single-best individuals from the leading law school teams go head-to-head for a trophy and a first-place prize of $10,000. Unlike other competitions, participants do not receive a case file until their arrival at the host school the day before the tourney begins.
"McGeorge was invited for the first time to this event because of Selena's outstanding performance in the National Trial Competition (NTC) and other competitions in which she represented our school," Professor Cary Bricker, McGeorge's Mock Trial Team director, said. "Coaches Jake Flesher, and Jason Schaff of Flesher McKague LLP not only advocated for her participation, but they paid her expenses, including airfare and hotel."
Farnesi, accompanied by coach Jason Schaff, '06, and third-year student coach Kathryne Baldwin, immediately went to work when they landed in Waco. They studied depositions, records and photographs in the criminal case assigned to each competitor. Later, competitors were assigned witnesses to be used at their discretion. Then Farnesi gave a stunning performance in the courtroom in front of juries made up of attorneys and judges.
"Selena was pitted against a member of the winning team in this year's NTC, a student from the Chicago-Kent team, "said Bricker. "Her next preliminary round was against a Faulkner University student who had won three different best advocate awards in different Mock Trial tournaments during the 2014-15 season."
Farnesi also won rounds against Hofstra and UC Berkeley advancing to a semifinal round against NYU. In a well fought round, NYU advanced to the finals where they won the competition, beating out Yale.
"We are very proud of Selena for her work at the Top Gun Competition and for all she has done representing McGeorge's competition trial teams," said Jake Flesher, '00. "It was very easy to support someone who has done so much for this great program. We welcome her into a terrific club of alumni who have come from McGeorge's trial teams and look forward to seeing her succeed in her career."
Farnesi's sensational showing in the Top Gun event came as no surprise to the faculty and students who had seen her in action at McGeorge. In April, she had been chosen as the first winner of the law school's $10,000 Ferris-White Best Student Advocate Prize, a newly established prize funded by alumni and former trial team stars, Parker White, '80, and Noël Ferris, '79.