Student Organization Spotlight: Capital Punishment

by Sarah Ricciardi
Photo via Nicole Gehen

Photo via Nicole Gehen

Founded in 2002, UConn Law’s hockey team, “Capital Punishment,” isn’t the typical law school student organization.

Once a week, ten law students take to the ice to display their UConn pride and blow off some steam.  Capital Punishment is one of ten teams in a local Hartford league.  The schedule rotates in order to ensure that they play every team at least once.  People of all ages and backgrounds play in the league, making it a great way to meet new and interesting people in the community.  The season is divided by the semester – September to December and January to April.

Capital Punishment is one of only a few law school hockey teams in the country.  Because it is such an unusual student organization, it offers unique benefits.  Laura Ann Keller, a 2L and currently the only female player on the team, admits, “Capital Punishment is the only thing on my resume that I am asked about in every interview.  It’s a great conversation starter.”  Unlike other organizations that either meet on campus or in local restaurants a couple times a semester, Capital Punishment players get together once a week at Trinity College’s Ice Rink.  Keller adds, “It’s a great opportunity to be with law students in a non-law school environment.  We really enjoy playing together.”

This year’s captain is Sean LaPorta.  He’ll be passing the reigns to rising 3L Joe Szerejko next season.  A member since his 1L year, Szerejko is excited about the future of the team.

“Capital Punishment ice hockey is a tradition that has survived many generations of law students at UConn Law.  We are a jovial and welcoming bunch of men and women, but we also like to compete.  We had a rough season this year, but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless,” Szerejko said.

The team agrees that the hockey team provides a great outlet for them.

“There’s no better way to take a break from outlining for exams, reading cases for class, or preparing a term paper than to skate for an hour and a half,” added Szerejko. Networking is also an unexpected benefit of joining Capital Punishment.

“Playing on the ice hockey team is especially beneficial for those interested in working around Hartford, as some lawyers play for the other teams that we play against,” Szerejko said. Further, UConn Law alumni come and skate with the team regularly, providing a chance to do a very different kind of networking.

As for joining Capital Punishment, the games are fairly casual.

“We welcome skaters of all levels, but we prefer if you have your own equipment.  We are wowed by players who have played on teams in the past,” Szerejko said. Anyone interested in joining the team is encouraged to contact Joe at