Trial Advocacy Competition

Course Number:

Credit Hours:
2 Credit Hours

Prerequisites: RCC*; Evidence (LAW 661) recommended. The course is designed to promote professionalism in the litigation arena in both the preparation and trying of cases. The course consists of preparing for and participating in mock trial competitions. The preparation consists of approximately sixteen supervised weekend classes per semester. The trial competitions consist of a one-day cross-town competition in the Fall and a three-day regional competition in the Spring. During these competitions, each class member will argue their case against students from law schools throughout the country. The course is open to all second, third, and fourth year law students. Up to eight students are selected for the competition team each year.

A try-out competition is held each Fall to select a team that will be together for the entire year. In order to be selected, students must give an opening statement or closing argument based on a hypothetical case in front of a panel of attorneys and former trial team members. The team meets throughout the Fall and Spring semesters, although credit will not be allocated until the Spring semester.

The American Association for Justice organizes the Spring trial competition. Each year the AAJ drafts a fictional legal case, complete with witness depositions, exhibits, and jury instructions. Using the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, teams develop arguments and create their own case theory based on the assigned case. In competition, students from one member school represent one side and compete against students from another school who represent the opposing side. Teams represent both plaintiff and defendant in successive rounds. Scoring is based on how well the students articulate their arguments and develop their case theory. The competitions are judged by actual sitting judges as well as lawyers from the community.

The team is supervised and taught by attorneys from the Reminger law firm. The course is graded pass/fail. Each student’s final grade is determined based upon their individual performance during practices and at the trial competition. Each student’s effort, preparation, and completion of class assignments contribute toward their final grade. The course requires a greater time commitment than the usual two credit course but the students will gain considerable competencies as trial advocates. Satisfies the skills course requirement.

Back to Course Descriptions