Pictured above (l to r) are the competition’s winners, from the University of Florida: Richard Fuerst, Jackie Hacker, Gianfranco Gazzo, and Margret Flodeen.
In a unique, if not unprecedented gesture, the Florida International University College of Law awarded over $25,000 in scholarship funds to the winners of the 2013 Phi Alpha Delta State Conference and Mock Trial Competition, held in the Rafael Diaz-Balart Hall on March 15 and 16.
Winning the pre-law competition and each receiving a $2,500 scholarship to attend the FIU College of Law were Richard Fuerst, Jackie Hacker, Gianfranco Gazzo, and Margret Flodeen. Also receiving $1,500 scholarships were the participants in the second through fourth place teams – contingent on acceptance to the law school.
“The 2013 Phi Alpha Delta State conference was a tremendous success,” said scholarship recipient Gianfranco Gazzo. “The judges for all of the trials were extremely knowledgeable and helpful and the level of skill of all of the mock trial competitors was truly astounding.”
The programming for the event included LSAT prep workshops, a law student panel, and speakers such as comedian Peter Fogel, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Dean R. Alexander Acosta of FIU Law.
There were over 120 people in attendance, including 40 mock trial participants from across the state. This was not only the first time the conference was held at FIU, but many agreed it was the largest turnout they had experienced at the state conference.
“The law school was the perfect setting for our pre-law conference. The turnout was outstanding,” said Daniel A. Villavisanis, president of FIU’s Phi Alpha Delta chapter.
Last November, the FIU pre-law chapter was named the Most Outstanding Chapter in the Nation. “Having this title meant we had a lot of expectations to live up to,” said Villavisanis. “And we did just that.”