Students

Trial Advocacy

Important Notice to 2nd year law students
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 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.

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.

How are the team members selected?

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. In the tryout you will have 10 minutes to present a closing argument to a jury of current and former trial team members and team coaches. The closing argument will be based on a case file that contains all the necessary facts and law. Logic, common sense, and basic public speaking skills are the keys to winning the tryout. Twenty students will be selected from the tryouts to join the returning 3rd year team members in the fall 2012 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.

If you have any questions please call or email Professor Steve Emens 205-348-6231 or trial advocacy administrator Dana Waid 205-348-7865

About the Advocacy Program

In 2007, Alabama’s Intellectual Property Moot Court Team won the Saul Lefkowitz National Trademark Moot Court Competition, sweeping the awards for best brief, best oralists, and best team.

The first place team from the 2006 Lone Star Classic Trial competition in San Antonio, Texas, consisting of Marcus Chatterton, Eric Rumanek, Tracie Todd, and Jason Wilson

Many students participate in moot court and trial advocacy competitions. First-year students participate in a moot court program during the second semester. Students draft a brief and argue it in front of their professor and several upper-class students. Second-year students may compete in an intramural competition, with final-round judges from state and federal benches. Third-year students travel with support from the Law School to competitions across the country.

The Law School enjoys a history of excellence, winning team and individual awards with the following moot court teams:

  • Jessup International Law Moot Court Team
  • Protective Life National Moot Court Competition
  • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team
  • Howard Raymond Vaughan Jr. Environmental Law Moot Court Team
  • Lehr Middlebrooks & Vreeland Labor Law Moot Court Team
  • Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Team
  • Intellectual Property Moot Court Team
  • Tax Law Moot Court Team
  • Criminal Defense Moot Court Team

Alabama teams also participate in several trial advocacy competitions, some involving civil matters, while others involve criminal cases. Teams in recent years have included:

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Trial Team
  • Huie, Fernambucq & Stewart Thurgood Marshall Trial Team
  • Tournament of Champions Team (invitation based on number of competitions won)
  • National Trial Team
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America National Trial Team
  • National Civil Trial Team

Attention 2nd and 3rd year UA Law Students


What is the Law School’s Trial Advocacy Team?

Alabama’s trial teams conduct full trials against teams from other law schools. These trials are before real Judges with juries of practicing lawyers. In recent years we have competed in courthouses in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta and others.

Alabama’s trial teams consistently earn recognition as one of the best in the Nation. Since 1990, Alabama teams have won two national championships and won the southern region championship 14 times.

What will I learn on the trial team?

The trial team is a learning and skills developing experience for students interested in being “courtroom lawyers”. Team members learn how to examine different types of witnesses, make persuasive opening statements and closing arguments, effectively use the rules of evidence and develop a winning theory of the case.

How are the team members selected?

To be a part of this tradition and be a advocate on one of Alabama’s trial teams you must participate in the trial tryouts. The tryouts are open to all second and third year students. The tryout consists of a closing argument presented to a jury of current and former trial team members and team coaches. The closing argument will be based on a case file that contains all the necessary facts and law. Logic, common sense, and basic public speaking skills are the keys to winning the tryouts.

Winners of the tryouts (about 20 students) will be enrolled in the trial competition class. This is a two hour class typically taught on Tuesday from 6:00 – 8:00 by trial team coaches Robert Prince and Steve Emens. All national team members will be selected from this competition class.

If you think you want to be a “courtroom lawyer” come join one of the best trial teams in the nation.