A team of three undergraduates from the University of Texas, Dallas won the national championship at the International Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament.
The win showcases the recognition UT Dallas students are gaining on the national stage in legal advocacy competitions. In the final round of the tournament, team member Olaoluwa Israel resolved a simulated $2 million lawsuit involving a pain medication that increased blindness in its customer.
“It was a relay, and Chidambara handed the baton to the one she thought would get the team further down the line. That showed me what an incredible leader she is, not to say ‘I have to bring it on home,’" Tony Seagroves, who coaches UT Dallas’ mediation and mock trial teams for the Pre-Law Advising and Resource Center, said. "She stepped back, coached him to make sure he was ready, and we won,”
The team competed against 30 others from 16 universities. Students were scored based on opening statements and how they presented both clients’ cases. Also important weas establishing trust, remaining neutral and working with a co-mediator.
“Our ultimate goal as a team was to learn from the experience, have some fun and meet new people along the way — all three of which we definitely accomplished,” captain Chidambara Vinayagam said.