Students honored by trial advocacy program

Friday, May 16, 2014

 Chelsea Hesla
 Monica Thompson
Chelsea Hesla and Monica Thompson, two members of the May 2014 graduating class at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, received awards recognizing their interest and achievements in the area of trial advocacy.

Hesla and Thompson were named co-recipients of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Award, a $2,500 award which they will split.  Thomas Slack, President of the Phoenix Chapter of ABOTA said that “ABOTA’s mission includes elevating the standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession, advancing the skill of its members as trial attorneys, and working to preserve and protect the American jury system.  After careful review of numerous applications of talented and worthy recipients, our Chapter is pleased to recognize Chelsea Hesla and Monica Thompson, two future lawyers who typify the ideals of our organization, as its scholarship recipients.”

In addition, Hesla was selected as the winner of the $1,000 Paul W. Holloway Trial Advocacy Award and was designated as an Advocacy Fellow in recognition of her successful completion of all Trial Advocacy Program requirements.  The Holloway award is named for the late Paul W. Holloway, a noted trial attorney, and is funded, in part, by his former firm, Holloway Odegard Forrest & Kelly, P.C. 

The Trial Advocacy Program is a course of study designed to prepare law students to be trial lawyers.  The Program combines traditional law courses with a broad array of litigation-oriented electives and skills courses taught by more than 50 experienced trial lawyers and judges who serve as adjunct faculty in the Program. 

Hesla has been an active participant in various moot court competitions throughout her law school career.  Most recently, she and another spring graduate, Alden Anderson, won the National Championship in the Representation in Mediation Competition sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section.  Hesla is currently seeking employment opportunities, preferably doing civil or criminal trial work.

Upon graduation, Thompson is joining the Phoenix office of Polsinelli, PC as an associate in the firm’s commercial litigation practice group.

For further information regarding the Trial Advocacy Program, contact Program Director Deana S. Peck at

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