USD law student touted for 'Best Defense' at D.C. mock trial

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Alex Hagen, a third-year law student at The University of South Dakota School of Law, received top honors at the second annual Capitol City Challenge Mock Trial Competition at the District of Columbia Superior Court in Washington, D.C., last weekend.

Hagen, from Brandon, S.D., was named Best Defense Advocate for the tournament. Hagen and teammates, Lindsey Quasney of Rapid City, S.D., Kelsey Clark of Wayne, Neb., and Jennifer Ferris of  Charles City, Iowa, defeated a team of students from Villanova University in the first round but lost in the quarterfinals of the competition to Regent University School of Law.

“We went in and took on some of the very best law schools in the east,” said Thomas J. Horton, professor of law at the USD School of Law, who teaches trial techniques. “I’m very proud of our students. They held their own against a phenomenal array of competition.”

A total of 16 teams competed in the tournament, including law students representing the University of Connecticut, Georgetown University, Fordham University, University of Virginia, George Mason University and George Washington University. The event is hosted by the American University Washington College of Law Stephen S. Weinstein Trial Advocacy Program and Mock Trial Honor Society.