Andrew McCotter '21
Having run a successful landscaping business during high school, Andrew McCotter ’21 was searching for colleges where he could study business. As soon as he set foot on the Bryant campus, he knew it was the place for him.
The beautiful and impeccably maintained campus grounds instantly spoke to the landscaper in him, and he was quickly captivated by what he learned about the programs and people of Bryant University. He liked the smaller class sizes, he says, and how accessible the professors at Bryant are.
It wasn’t long into his first year, after studying with Lecturer Ilisabeth Bornstein JD, MPP, that McCotter decided to pivot from a business program and declare a Politics and Law major, with minors in Finance and History.
He was elected as a Student Senator in 2020, and has been involved in an array of law and governance related activities. He has developed an interest in criminal justice reform. The for-profit cash bail system used in the U.S. – highly unusual among developed nations – is an example of where he would like to see change.
McCotter’s true passion is Mock Trial, an intercollegiate organization that teaches students critical thinking and public speaking skills, as well as an understanding of legal practices and procedures. As President of the Bryant team, he has acted as a lawyer on both the prosecution and the defense sides of trials, and he organizes the team’s participation in competitions.
Describing himself as “highly competitive,” McCotter loves bringing the trials to life so that they feel as real as possible, even going so far as to recruit students from the Bryant Players – the University’s theater troupe – to play the role of convincing witnesses.
It’s an activity that appeals to his competitive nature, especially the intense intercollegiate contests. “Last year, we faced Yale’s A-Team,” he says. “It’s tough, because in our region, we either go to Brown’s tournament or Yale’s – the two most difficult tournaments in the entire country.”
“I hope that next year, you’ll be reading about our Mock Trial team going to the nationals,” he adds with a smile.
Real World Experience
Town of Smithfield, RI Charter Review Commission
• Performed research and support to the town’s efforts to review and revise its town charter
State of Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender
• Identified nearly 20,000 people eligible by law to have their criminal records expunged
Senator, Student Government
• One of five Class of 2021 representatives in the legislative branch of the student governance organization
• Provided oversight and support to dormitory students
Founder and President, Bryant Law Society
• Organizes educational and networking opportunities for students interested in the study of law
President, Bryant Mock Trial Team
• Organizes and competes in simulated intercollegiate legal trials
Chief Justice, Bryant Constitutional Court
• Led the judicial branch of the Student Government organization
Bryant Habitat for Humanity
• Builds and repairs affordable housing in low-income areas
Valley Community Church Missions/Helping Hands
• Constructs and repairs housing for people in need
A Connected Community
Bryant's purposeful student life delivers co-curricular immersion with an inspiring, collegial community. Students forge deep connections that last a lifetime.
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“It’s great to see their confidence grow as they start posting on a company’s behalf to Facebook, etc. That’s when the true stars come out.”