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Dayton Docket

Student Team Competes at Diversity Case Competition

Christian Keith and Deztany Johnson weren’t sure what to expect as they headed to Cincinnati for the weekend.

The two were just beginning their second semester of law school at the University of Dayton School of Law and now they were about to put what they learned to the test at a 1L Diversity Case Competition organized by the law firm Keating Muething and Klekamp and the University of Cincinnati College of Law's Center for Professional Development.

“We weren’t told anything before we got there,” Keith says. “We did as much research as we could on case competitions.”

The two were soon immersed in a scenario that put them in the shoes of an associate at a law firm that included some late night researching, high-stakes presentations and deadline pressures.

“We got really good feedback on each round that we were positive, that we were organized and that we put thought into issues,” Keith says. “I love the fact that we took the skills we learned from first semester and put them in real practice of what we’d be doing as a corporate attorney.”

Johnson says the competition helped them gain a better understanding of how to approach legal issues.

“There were nuances that unless you’ve practiced as an attorney for years you wouldn’t know,” Johnson says. “Now when I’m looking at cases I try to take a different approach to how I’m viewing them.”

But the two didn’t just leave with a new perspective on reading cases, they also walked away with some important connections.

“It was a good opportunity to network and meet people,” Johnson says. “I had a partner ask for my resume after the case competition because he was impressed.”

The two say next year’s 1Ls should definitely consider taking part in the competition.

“It was a great experience,” Keith says. “I’m really proud of what we presented.”

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