Real-life Trial Format
The National Trial Competition uses a real-life trial format, taking students through a jury trial from pre-trial motions to closing arguments. This competition tests a student’s grasp of the rules of evidence, public speaking, and trial procedure.
What to Expect
- This competition is open to second- and third-year law students.
- First-year students are encouraged to volunteer as witnesses for the team’s practice scrimmages.
- Teams are made up of two to three student attorneys.
- The case alternates, annually, between civil and criminal.
- The competition challenges the team’s ability to conduct a trial effectively and persuasively.
- Considerable time is required for case preparation and practice.
At the Competition
- The regional competition lasts several days and is in late January or early February.
- Teams in our western region take turns hosting the regional tournament.
- Each round may take up to three hours and includes the opportunity to make and respond to pre-trial motions, objections, opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments.
- The top two teams from each regional competition advance to the national competition in Texas, held in the spring.
After the Competition
- Winners advance to a regional competition held in early March.
- Winners from regionals advance to national competition held in early April.