Announcing the McDermot Will & Emery JV Invitational Debaters

We are very pleased to announce that for the sixth consecutive year, the law firm McDermott Will & Emery will sponsor and host the nation’s only JV urban debate invitational tournament, Saturday, March 21st, following this full-day schedule.

McDermott Will & Emery is an international law firm, founded in Chicago 80 years ago, which now has more than 1,100 attorneys in offices in 19 cities all over the world. The Chicago Debate Commission will be invited ten of the top JV teams in the Chicago Debate League, from schools in the LCC, A, and AA Conferences. The 10 invited teams are the top two JV teams at each of the CDL Conference Championships, the higher seeded team of each semis competition, and one at-large JV team to be selected by the CDC.

The event will be held in the offices of McDermott Will & Emery, in the Franklin Center, 227 West Monroe St. on the 45th floor.

Coaches will receive a $300 incentive at the event. Schools are obligated to provide their own transportation and one judge, which of course may be the coach. Parents and observers are welcome, but have to register no later than March 13th, by email (
Three excellent meals will be provided on site. Parking passes will be provided for parking in the Franklin Center, 227 West Monroe St.

Two judges will be assigned to each round, one MWE attorney and one CDL judge, with each teams receiving and being ranked on eight ballots. The top four places will be determined by our Final and Runner-Up Rounds. There will be no argument limits of any kind — the topic is the 2014/15 national policy debate topic (ocean exploration and/or development).

The event will include a lunch-time panel discussion by McDermott attorneys on careers in the law and pathways from urban schools to the legal profession. McDermott attorneys will also provide post-round feedback on argumentation and advocacy.

We very enthusiastically and with real sincerity thank new CDC Board member John Hammond and McDermott Will and Emery partner Michael Boykins for making this event possible, and for their long-standing commitment to the Chicago Debate League and its hard-working and very talented coaches and students.

The 10 teams that will participate in the 2015 McDermott Will & Emery Urban Debate JV Invitational are:

Clark H.S.
Brianda Edwards and Ladonya Paxton
Phyllis Ford-France, Steven Woods

Juarez High School
Jose Villalpando and Saul Peralta
Alfedo Peralta, Tom Vazques

Thomas Kelly H.S.
Brenda De Leon-Perez and Jocelyn Aguirre and a team of
Juliana Reyes and Sofia Delao
Scott Dodsworth, Jenny Nolan

Marine H.S.
Ina Torres and James Stewart
David Stone

Morgan Park H.S.
Serena Echols and Cheyenne Henry
Bill Colson, Janae Meaders

RTC Medical Prep
Ghania Imran and Andres Guerra
KZ Mendoza, Emma LaBounty

Taft H.S.
Alexandra Jakucewicz and Sunny Eimer
Rachael Nicholas, Jon Cohen

Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
Sara Rizvi and Jeanine Saleh
Ben Krier

Westinghouse H.S.
Carlos Rodriguez and Linda Garcia
Melina Luna, Luke Staszak

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