Fort Mill law student takes top honor

December 18, 2013 

Cheslie Kryst of Fort Mill recently won a competition for first-year law students at Wake Forest.

Fort Mill’s Cheslie Kryst was the winner of the 2013 1L Trial Bar Competition Finals, sponsored by the Wake Forest Law Student Trial Bar.

The final argument, The Estate of Jack Shepard v. Island University, was between Kryst (Class of 2016), who was counsel for the plaintiff, and Marcus Fields (Class of 2016), who counsel for the defense. The Estate of Jack Shepard brings a negligence action against Defendant Island University: It seeks to hold the university vicariously liable for all of Dean Pace’s actions associated with the Island University’s Chapter of Phi Gamma Fraternity.

After a hard-fought battle in front of the Honorable Denise S. Hartsfield (Class of 1991), Kryst told the competitors that trial work is hard.

“There are a lot of steps before you put on your best suit and best tie and go up in front of a jury,” she said. “This is very rewarding work. You both demonstrated strong traits. You all are really, really good. Both of you did well.”

Hartsfield told Kryst that she thought she was “smooth and had excellent pace and eye contact and ability to engage the jury. I always knew you were serious about what you were saying. I heard it in your words and saw it in your eyes.”

She told Fields, “It’s hard for defense attorneys to personalize an institution, but I thought you did an excellent job. It’s called the practice of law because you are going to keep on practicing and you are going to keep on learning.”

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