The Trial Advocacy Division
Each year, the Trial Advocacy Division sends competitive teams to some of the most prestigious competitions across the country. Members of the Trial Advocacy Division comprise a four-member team and compete in simulated full trial competitions against other schools. Students develop case theories and craft motions in limine, opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments. Competitors have a unique opportunity to think on their feet while making objections to evidence and responding to objections from adversaries while implementing the Federal Rules of Evidence, Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure. Competitors spend a considerable amount of time preparing for competition by engaging in "practice trials". Teams are aided by faculty and student coaches, who provide critique and assistance in preparing for trial.
Members in the Trial Advocacy Division truly excel in the art of oral argument and persuasion. Trial Advocacy Division members win awards every year and have consistently placed in the quarter-final, semi-final, and final rounds in regional and national competitions.
Selection to the Trial Advocacy Division: The Spring Trial Division Tryouts
The Trial Advocacy Division of the Moot Court Honor Society invites all first-year students to participate in the Spring Trial Division Tryouts. From this competition, the Trial Division selects new members to join the Society and compete the following year in competitions around the country.
The Spring Trial Division Tryouts consists of two rounds. In each round, a student must deliver an opening statement and conduct the cross examination of a witness portrayed by a current member of the Society. Students are provided with a Trial Record one week prior to the first round and are assigned to either the prosecution or the defense and assigned the witness they will cross-examine.
Current members of the Trial Advocacy Division judge students participating in the Spring Trial Division Tryouts. Judges look for competitors that manifest a basic familiarity with the content and purpose of an opening statement and cross-examination and who are able to advocate with confidence and conviction. Chosen Society members demonstrate the fundamentals of opening statements and cross-examinations in a workshop prior to the competition. Students who are not invited to join the society during the Spring of their first year may try-out again during the Fall of their second year.