Whitney Young and Lane Tech to represent Chicago at Chase National Championship in New York City

On March 12-13, ten of Chicago’s most accomplished debate teams gathered at the law firm offices of Mayer Brown to compete for the right to represent the CDL at the Chase Urban Debate National Championship in New York City later this month. The teams from Lane Tech (Carl Jiang and Chimene Okere) and Whitney Young (Kevin Hirn and Misael Gonzalez) emerged as the qualifiers and will compete against the top UDL teams from across the nation at the national championship tournament organized by the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues.

“The National Championship brings together the best debaters from the nation’s Urban Debate Leagues (UDLs) for a weekend event hosted in New York City.  The event will foster and recognize excellence in urban debate, facilitate meaningful professional growth for urban debate educators, strengthen connections in the Urban Debate Network, and cultivate urban youth leadership,” according to the NAUDL.

Teams from the CDL have a long and successful history competing in urban debate national championships, having won the past two NAUDL national championships and three of the four Fuqua National UDL Celebration Championships held in Atlanta earlier in the decade.

Lane Tech senior Carl Jiang expressed his excitement about representing the CDL at UDL nationals.  “If there was ever a more exciting and competitive location for this tournament than Chicago it would be New York. My partner and I are absolutely psyched to go. We expect tough competition but at the same time we are determined to defend the Chicago title.  Let’s just say, we intend to make the last tournament of our senior year really count.”

Bert Krueger, Chairman of Mayer Brown, told all the Nationals Qualifier participants: “Many former debaters here at Mayer Brown … know from personal experience that participating in debate taught them to think analytically and improved their communications skills — attributes essential to success in their chosen profession. But whether or not you pursue a career in the law some day, the knowledge and skills you develop through debate will serve you well in both your professional and personal life.”

Mary Richardson-Lowry, Partner and Chair of MB’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, offered her perspective on the firm’s sponsorship of the event. “We are very proud of our partnership with the NAUDL, Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Debate Commission. The Mayer Brown CDL Nationals Qualifier provided debaters an opportunity to hone and display their critical thought and persuasive speaking skills while providing our lawyers a chance to interact with and learn from local students as they judged debates, shared meals and participated in small group discussions.”