Boston, MA, March 24, 2014 – Fish & Richardson is proud to announce the winners of the Tournament of Champions held on March 22, 2014 in partnership with the Boston Debate League (BDL) and the Boston Public Schools (BPS). Four high school students representing the top two teams – Elvis Alvarado and Fatah Adan of New Mission High School and Richard Davis and Sadiya Gurhan of Brighton High School – will attend the 2014 Urban Debate National Championship Tournament in Washington, D.C. in April.
Fish & Richardson has been a sponsor of the Boston Debate League since 2010, and is the sole sponsor of the Tournament of Champions. In addition, approximately six attorneys and staff from Fish serve as volunteer judges each year.
At this year’s Tournament of Champions, 39 student debaters from seven different high schools throughout greater Boston addressed the question, “Should the U.S. federal government substantially increase its economic engagement towards Cuba, Mexico, or Venezuela?”
The Boston Debate League, which currently supports more than 850 high school and middle school students on debate teams in the BPS, has achieved the highest rate of student participation in the nation. While all students who join a debate team are significantly more likely to graduate from high school, research shows that debate especially helps at-risk students. Among the most at-risk students, 72 percent of debaters graduated from high school, compared to 43 percent of non-debaters.
“The competitive, student-centered nature of debate is especially appealing to at-risk students,” said Steve Stein, executive director of the Boston Debate League. “For what might be the first time, they have a reason and opportunity to struggle with complicated text that speaks to their interests and invites their opinions. We are very grateful that Fish has partnered with BDL as their financial and personal support help make the program a success.”
“The enthusiasm and skill of the student debaters is truly inspiring,” said Timothy French, managing principal of Fish’s Boston office. “We are honored to have the opportunity to support this unique and highly effective program that helps to keep Boston public school students engaged and in school. Hopefully, some of these students will consider a career in law, where they can continue to use their debating skills.”
The BDL is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the BPS to support academic debate teams in local high schools and train teachers to use debate as a regular part of their classroom practice. The mission of BDL is to measurably improve students’ academic achievement and their expectations of themselves by engaging as many high school and middle school students as possible through academic debate.
Fish & Richardson is a global patent, intellectual property (IP) litigation, and commercial litigation law firm with more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists across the U.S. and Europe. Fish has been named the #1 patent litigation firm in the U.S. for 10 consecutive years. Fish has been winning cases worth billions in controversy – often by making new law – for the most innovative clients and influential industry leaders since 1878. For more information, visit www.fr.com.
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