Class Action

With Katie Phang

A podcast documentary series about

the next generation of lawyers

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About Class Action

Class Action with Katie Phang is an immersive 12 part documentary podcast series about the next generation of lawyers, heard through the voices of law students competing in mock trial tournaments around the country.​

Producers spent a year following three law school teams and an undergraduate pre-law program.  The series follows a natural narrative arc of the season.

 

Just like in athletics, there are intensive bootcamps and scrimmages, then high-stakes tournaments against other schools. The cases range from mob murders, arson and to civil rights law.  And the action is fierce.

 

Class Action is a production of Sound Argument and iHeartMedia. 

Episodes

Class Action Trailer

Class Action is a twelve-part podcast documentary series that tracks a diverse cast of outstanding law students who are battling it out in mock trial competitions across the country. Host Katie Phang takes you inside the high stakes world of mock trial competitions, where you'll follow the drama of four teams fighting to win the National Championship.

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2. Breathe. Think. Relax.

It's boot camp graduation day at St. Mary's, and the nervous 2L’s must pass one final test before they can make the team: Cross-examine their coach in an actual courtroom. AJ is a former Marine. One by one, they march down Mosquito Alley in their suits. AJ is ready. “Some who you thought were going to do great are gonna fall flat on their face. Some who struggled, had a light bulb go off last night and are going to do fantastic. Everyone else is going to be in the middle.” Tears will be shed.

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1. Boot Camp for Lawyers

The 100-degree heat in San Antonio won't stop St. Mary's University coach AJ Bellido de Luna from drilling his team on the fundamentals. “We’re going to be the largest populated school for Latino law students. These students are here to make a difference,” he says. And for coach Laura Rose at the University of South Dakota, being midwest nice has no place in a mock trial tournament. She lays down the law; “You guys are engaged in a highly competitive law school sport.”

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5. A Ram in the Bush

The undergraduate trial season at Dillard University gets off to a disastrous start as Hurricane Ida lays waste to the campus, forcing students into hotels for safety. Coach Adria Kimbrough must quickly re-assemble her team and get them prepped for its first competition at Ole Miss., where generations ago, Black students were denied entry. Times change and the Dillard team rallies, but some victories are bittersweet.

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3. Mob Hits and the H-E-B

“Never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.” The first big tournament of the season is a murder case based on the plot of Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas. The teams are practicing saying “consigliere” and figuring out what the difference is between a “capo” and a “soldier.” In between we get a lesson on South Dakota geography (cowboy hats out west), and take a trip to H.E.B. (el Heb) for triple shot espressos.

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4. The Battle of the Experts

Dawn breaks for the “Battle of the Experts.” In San Antonio, St. Mary’s team rookie Mariela Encinas prays for success at the Red Mass, the 13th-century Catholic ceremony that traditionally offers a blessing to the legal community for the upcoming court year. In South Dakota, the team gets stoked up on pasta and smoothies. Coach Rose makes it simple for her team, telling them “Blood makes the grass grow." Then, the judges call the trials to order, and it is on.

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