The Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution

National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition | Thursday, March 16 - Saturday, March 18, 2016

The National Criminal Justice Trial 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: August 1–November 1, 2018
Accepted Teams Announced: November 8, 2018
Registration Fee ($650) Due: December 14, 2018
Competition Materials Available: January 24, 2019
Question & Answer Period Ends: February 21, 2019 | 5 p.m. CST
Final Question & Answers Posted: February 28, 2019 | Midnight CST
Competition Dates: March 14–16, 2019


The competition committee will send registration details to teams accepted to compete in the competition. Invited teams must register by December 14, 2018. The registration fee is $650.

General Rules

Four JD students constitute a team—in each round, two students act as advocates and two as witnesses. This means two students will be defense and two students will be prosecution. All students must perform both advocate and witness roles; “swing” students are not allowed. During the trials, each student advocate must conduct a direct examination of a witness, a cross examination of a witness, and present either the opening statement or the closing argument. In the following round, those student advocates play the role of witnesses. The Federal Rules of Evidence apply.

The competition consists of three preliminary rounds from which four competing teams advance to the semifinals. The two semifinal winners advance to the championship round.


Contact Us

Kelly Navarro
Associate Director, Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution
Phone: 312.427.2737 ext. 146
Email: [email protected]