The Law School Currently Sponsors Three Mock Trial Teams. Which one is right for you?
The National Trial Team Competition Team
Founded in 1975, the National Trial Competition is one of the premier advocacy team competitions in the United States. Co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the competition typically attracts over 1,000 competitors each year. Unique to the National Trial Competition, the fictional problem used by competitors alternates each year from a civil fact pattern to a criminal fact pattern.
The National Trial Competition team is coached by alumni Ben Beasley (email@example.com) and Ashley Bond (firstname.lastname@example.org). This year's competitors are: Audreina Blanding, John Cardozo, Leah Dotter, Annemarie Duerr, Brice Litus, Kaitlin O'Dowd, Alex Oyston, Ritozeh Saingbe, Amanda Sirleaf, and Aaminah Woods. They will compete in the Regional Competition February 3-6, 2022.
In the fall semester, students receive instruction and rigorously prepare for the competition; in the spring, students continue to practice and attend the regional competition held in early February at American University School of Law. Students may earn one academic credit for each semester for successful completion of all academic requirements.
To qualify for the National Trial Competition team, students must have taken and passed Evidence or be enrolled in an Evidence course during the fall semester and maintain a 2.8 GPA. Tryouts consist of an application, a brief interview to learn about the student, and a mock opening or closing statement based on a fictional problem.
Once selected on the team, the fall semester is spent reviewing the trial scripts, learning the rules of evidence, and conducting mock arguments. The spring semester focuses on preparing for the regional competition with weekend practices. These practices will involve "live witnesses" (outside students who have not studied the fact pattern), similarly to what the students will encounter at competition.
The two top teams from the Regional Competition advance to the National Competition on March 30 - April 3, 2022, which takes place in Fort Worth, Texas. The University of Baltimore is happy to announce that we have a team advancing to the National Competition this year! Our National Team will be represented by Annemarie Duerr, Brice Litus, and Kaitlin O'Dowd. To get to this point, our team faced teams from Howard University, School of Law, University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law , and the University of Virginia, School of Law in the preliminary rounds. They beat a second team from Howard in the semi-final round and then went on to beat American University, Washington College of Law in the finals. American's program had two teams that made it into the finals (Georgetown was the 4th). Please wish them luck as they prepare for the National Competition, using a new fact pattern.
Constance Baker Motley Trial Team Competition
Named after the first African American female federal judge, the Constance Baker Motley Trial Team competition is sponsored by the National Black Law Students Association. UBalt has proudly participated in NBLSA's trial competitions for many years.
Each year, UBalt Law students who have been dues-paying members of BLSA the prior year compete in a tryout process in early fall to be selected to a four-person team. If chosen for this honor, students receive two academic credits. To prepare for the competition, students diligently work with their coaches to develop and practice trial skills, such as giving opening and closing statements, conducting direct and cross-examinations, and preparing witnesses.
UBalt's team competes each year in the spring Mid-Atlantic BLSA Competition for the regional championship. The top three teams then advance to the national BLSA competition. Advocates are evaluated on their overall courtroom presence, command of the Federal Rules of Evidence and Civil Procedure, teamwork, and timeliness and accuracy of objections. Each trial lasts approximately 2.5 hours.
The coaches for the 2020-21 academic year are Professor Odeana Neal and UBalt Law alumna Sameerah Mickey, J.D. '19.
This year’s competitors are: Autumn Lee, Jaelin Ali, Parker Imani Payne, and Sam Scales.
The American Association of Justice Trial Team
The American Association for Justice (AAJ) describes its mission as promoting “justice and fairness for injured persons, safeguards victims’ rights—particularly the right to trial by jury—and strengthen[ing] the civil justice system through education and disclosure of information critical to public health and safety.” AAJ believes that one of the most effective long-term methods for achieving its mission is to assure that the nation’s upcoming lawyers are effective advocates. The intent of the AAJ’s trial team program is to provide an opportunity for student lawyers to hone their trial skills through a national competition.
The AAJ trial team competition always involves a civil matter. The subject of past competitions includes: a child paralyzed after being struck by a drunk driver; a young woman unable to have children because of an alleged medical mistake; a person denied a promotion due to alleged racial discrimination; an elderly man injured due the alleged negligence of a nursing home; and a community whose water supply allegedly was contaminated by a local manufacturer.
Beyond gaining trial experience, an additional benefit of competing in the STAC program is that the Law School provides each team member with a student membership in the AAJ.