Karen C. McGovern Senior Prize Trials Competition

The Karen C. McGovern Senior Prize Trials Competition provides Albany Law School third-year students an opportunity to develop trial practice skills. The teams are comprised of two students who litigate fictional cases before a judge and a jury.  The one-semester competition takes place in the fall and the problem will either be a civil or criminal issue. 

Participants should make every effort to find a partner prior to the submission of their entry forms. However, a list of individuals who are seeking partners will be published prior to the commencement of the competition, and competitors may select a partner from that list. 

First- and Second-year students are encouraged to attend the competition final round.

2023-2024 Committee:

Joseph A. Anias, Competition Chair

Bianca R. Giacona, Competition Associate

Prof. Michael Wetmore, Faculty Advisor

Competition Requirements:

Participants try cases prepared by the Senior Prize Trials Chair.

Eligibility: The competition is open to teams comprised of two third-year students who are enrolled in academic study at Albany Law School for the fall semester and have a GPA of 2.0 or above (72 team limit). No academic credit will be given for participation in the competition.

Judges: Judges for all preliminary rounds are practicing judges and attorneys from the area. A New York State Judge, United States District Court Judge or Magistrate Judge presides over the final trial. The presiding judge is responsible for selecting which team will advance in the competition. The judge's decision is independent of the jury verdict.

Juries & Bailiffs: The bailiff and jury members are composed of first-year students and occasionally high school students from the area. Volunteering is the best way to see what all the excitement is about and a great way to get involved.

2022 McGovern Senior Prize Trials Competition Results:

The Honorable Daniel J. Stewart '88, U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, presided over the final round which was held on November 9, 2022.


Deana J. DiBenedetto ’23 & Allison M. Magnarelli ’23

a group of people posing for the camera


Lilliam C. Hahn ’23 & Robert R. Hojnacki ’23


  • 1st Place: Deana J. DiBenedetto '23
  • 2nd Place: Allison M. Magnarelli '23
  • 3rd Place: Tina S. Thermadam '23

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