LSU Law alumni Danielle “Dani” Borel (’12) and Doran Drummond (’12) have been named the 2021 recipients of the Kalinka Award for Advocacy Programs Coach of the Year. Borel and Drummond were co-coaches of the LSU Law National Pretrial Competition team, which competed online via Zoom in October 2020.
Named in honor of the late Professor Susan C. Kalinka, the Kalinka Award recognizes a coach of one of LSU Law’s moot court, trial advocacy, or dispute resolution external competition teams who embodies the inspiration and dedication of Professor Kalinka.
The Pretrial team — which included LSU Law students Emiley Dillon, Mary Katherine Loos, Kaitlyn Mistretta, and Franeka Taylor — was one of the first LSU Law advocacy teams to compete online last year due to the pandemic. The team was also impacted by Hurricane Delta and was forced to evacuate Baton Rouge to Shreveport and Jackson, Mississippi, the day before their competition began to avoid the storm and make sure that they had power and internet access so they could compete as planned.
“Dani and Doran checked in with us to offer moral support and encouragement during the memoranda writing stage nearly every day,” said Loos. “When we began practicing, we practiced at least five times a week, at least an hour each time we met. When either Doran or Dani individually couldn’t make a practice with everyone, they made sure they made up for missing a team practice by holding a team practice on their own time that same week.”
Borel and Drummond also regularly checked in with the team when they were forced to evacuate, helping them prepare in their hotel rooms and adjust as necessary.
“They checked in with us every hour to ensure our safety during our evacuation travels, and they offered moral support and encouragement during our team’s entire ‘evacuate-and-compete’ situation,” Loos said. “I expect to use my oral advocacy and brief writing skills throughout my legal career, but I can confidently say that my advocacy skills flourished because of Doran and Dani.”
LSU Law ultimately placed as a national quarterfinalist at the 2020 Pretrial Competition. Borel is a partner in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson L.L.P. Drummond is an associate in the Baton Rouge office of Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe, APLC.