Trial Advocacy

Alabama’s Trial Advocacy Teams

As a second year law student you are invited to try out for the Law Schools intercollegiate trial advocacy competition teams.  Our focus is on jury trials not appellant arguments.  Our teams conduct full trials against teams from other law schools.  These trials are before Judges with juries of practicing lawyers.  In recent years we have competed in courthouses in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, and others.  Alabama’s trial teams consistently earn recognition as some of the best in the nation.  To be a part of this tradition and to be a advocate on one of Alabama’s trial teams you must participate in the trial team tryouts and be selected to the Competition Class.

What will I learn on the trial team?

The trial team is a skills developing experience for students interested in being “courtroom lawyers.”  Team members learn how to develop a winning case theory, make persuasive opening statements and closing arguments, examine different types of witnesses, and how to effectively use the rules of evidence.  The jury trial is the most powerful tool in the American judicial system.  With a jury trial, life, liberty, and property can be taken away or preserved.  If standing in front of a jury is in your future you need to join Alabama’s trial team.

How are the team members selected?

Several days before the tryout a case file will be posted on the law school’s web page.  The case file will contain all the facts and law necessary for a closing argument.   Each student will present a closing argument to a jury of current and former trial team members and team coaches.  Logic, common sense, and basic public speaking skills are the keys to the tryout.  Twenty students will be selected from the tryouts to join the returning 3rd year team members in the fall 2015 Competition Class.

The Competition Class is a three credit hour class on Tuesday from 5:30 – 8:20 taught by trial team coaches Robert Prince and Steve Emens.  All National Trial Team members are selected from the Competition Class.

If you think you want to be a “courtroom lawyer” come join one of the best trial teams in the nation.  Your first step is to participate in the team tryouts.