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3rd Annual Legal Eagle Competition

Kristen Corpion Wins Third Annual Legal Eagle Competition

Legal Eagle CompetitionOn June 14, 2014, the University of Miami School of Law hosted the Third Annual Legal Eagle Competition. The competition, spearheaded by retired Judge David Gersten (Bilzin Sumberg) and Jane Muir, J.D. ‘09 (Muir & Associates), was open to all attorneys under forty practicing in the 11th Judicial Circuit and admitted to the Florida Bar for less than seven years. All proceeds from the event benefitted Legal Services of Greater Miami, an organization that provides free legal assistance to the poor. Kristen Corpion, attorney with Greenberg Traurig, was announced the winner of the competition.

“This competition has become the ‘Great Equalizer’. Big firms, little firms or solo practitioners have the opportunity to show what they got, strut their stuff and prove who is the best closer in the county,” said Gersten.

The one-day competition was judged by panels of sitting judges and private practitioners. Young lawyers received facts and materials 48 hours before the competition at a Kickoff Reception. The competitors learned which side they would argue on the morning of the competition. After the final round, the perpetual trophy, contributed by Bilzin Sumberg, was presented to the winner at a Victory Celebration and Networking Reception for judges, competitors and supporters.

Muir pointed out, “It is a challenge for young lawyers to prove the quality of their advocacy because cases often settle before trial. It can take many years for a lawyer to build a reputation for high quality trial practice. This competition has given young lawyers the chance to sharpen and showcase their trial advocacy skills.” The first competition winner, in 2012, was Warren Zinn, University of Miami School of Law Class of ’09, and the second winner was Bryan Paschal, St. Thomas University School of Law Class of ’11.

The event was developed to provide critical financial support to LSGMI, which annually provides services benefitting more than 30,0000 vulnerable clients, including women, children, seniors, veterans returning from combat, domestic violence victims, people with disabilities, and individuals undergoing foreclosures or other loss of housing. The need for free legal services in our community has never been greater and continues to grow as the economic recovery stalls. The goal of the GenNext Initiative, a group of rising young professionals in our community, is to raise awareness about LSGMI’s mission and to provide support.

“It has been very inspiring to work with creative young professionals who are willing to volunteer their time and energy to support our mission of equal justice,” said LSGMI Executive Director Marcia K. Cypen. “This event has become one of the highlights of our year.”

 

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