The Law School Currently Sponsors Three Mock Trial Teams. Which one is right for you?
Shown in the photo, top row from left: Kenjeray Bennett, Juan Mercedes, Niels Drury, James Lindeman, and Devante Jones. Bottom row, from left, Emmett Hallameyer, Yasmeen Ali and Anne Clevenger.
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 Team Competition team is coached by Annemarie Duerr (J.D. '22) Amanda Sirleaf (J.D. '23). The 2023-24 competitors are: Yasmeen Ali, Kenjeray Bennett, Anne Clevenger, Niels Drury, Emmett Hallameyer, Devante Jones, James Lindeman and Juan Mercedes.
NTC is one of the most recognized and rigorous law school mock trial competitions in the country. It involves over 140 law schools from across the country grouped into 15 regional rounds, with the top two teams from each region advancing to the National Competition, to be held April 2-7, 2024. 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.
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.