The Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution
The National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition, held in Chicago, Illinois, is co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association and The John Marshall Law School.
Upcoming Relevant Competition Dates
Competition Application Period: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - Monday, September 30, 2013
Accepted Teams Announced: Tuesday, October 7, 2013
Competition Materials Available: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Competition Dates: Thursday, March 20 - Sunday, March 23, 2014
Four students constitute a team — in each round, two students act as advocates and two as witnesses. The students change from advocate to witness from round to round. During trial, each student advocate must conduct a direct examination of a witness, a cross examination of a witness, and must present either the opening statement or the closing argument. The Federal Rules of Evidence apply.
The competition consists of three preliminary rounds followed by a quarterfinal round on Saturday morning in which eight teams compete, then a semifinal round Saturday afternoon in which four teams compete. The two winners of the semifinal round compete in the championship round on Sunday morning. During the three preliminary rounds, each team will prosecute and defend the case at least once.
As part of the trial problem, students are provided digital photographs and video evidence, which teams must use to enhance the strength of the arguments presented. All courtrooms will have a projector and a screen available for the use of competitors.