Chicago's John Marshall Law School Wins 1st, Named National Champion in National Animal Law Competition Held at Harvard Law School

CHICAGO, March 2, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The John Marshall Law School in Chicago was named national champion at the National Animal Law Competition (NALC) March 1, 2015. John Marshall took first place in the Advocacy Closing Argument Competition of the 12th NALC held at Harvard Law School.

"Our students dedicate countless hours preparing and honing their skills. This win is proof of their passion about animal law and demonstrates that they are national leaders in practical training," said Professor Susann "Sunny" MacLachlan, director of John Marshall's Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution and who heads the school's animal law program.

John Marshall second-year law student Adam Bolotin took the top prize in the closing argument contest. Upon awarding the first-place plaque, the competition's spokesperson noted how John Marshall has "dominated the Closing Argument Competition" at Harvard.

John Marshall Trial Advocacy teams have made a name for themselves at the NALC. Since 2008, John Marshall has either won or placed in the finals at the completion every year except one. The competition is presented by the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School, in collaboration with the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The animal law teams have made it to the final rounds of the national closing argument competition in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and now 2015. In 2014, John Marshall student Illinois State Sen. Toi Hutchinson won first place in the Legislative Drafting and Lobbying portion of the contest; fellow John Marshall student Callie Shapiro took second.

John Marshall boasts a strong tradition focusing on animal law studies. More than a decade ago, John Marshall's Animal Law Society became a student chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the national organization that aims to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.

Since its formation, the society has expanded in a number of ways. In 2006, a course on Animal Law was developed and is regularly offered under MacLachlan's instruction. Students and alums have worked on important animal protection legislation including a 2014 law banning puppy mill sales at pet stores in Chicago.

For more information about John Marshall's animal law program, or its nationally award-winning Trial Advocacy and Moot Court programs, please contact Christine Kraly at

CONTACT: Christine Kraly 312-427-2737 x 171Source: The John Marshall Law School-Chicago