Second- and third-year students at Elon Law have the opportunity to participate in national-level mock trial competitions through the Mock Trial Program.
Since 2010, Elon Law has supported mock trial teams for competition in two national-level trial competitions, the Texas Young Lawyers Division National Trial Competition (TYLA NTC) and the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA) Student Trial Advocacy Competition (AAJ STAC). These two competitions are held annually in the Winter-Spring terms with over 100 law schools competing first in a regional competition, with regional winners advancing to a national competition. The AAJ STAC competition always uses a civil case file and allows for two teams of four law students. The TYLA NTC competition uses alternating civil and criminal case files and allows for one to two teams of two to three law students.
In addition to these national competitions, Elon Law Mock Trial Teams have competed in regional competitions in the Fall term, allowing third year students a final opportunity to compete and refine their trial skills.
To participate on a Mock Trial team, eligible students must have completed four trimesters in law school and have taken both Evidence and the basic trial advocacy course, Trial Practice and Procedure. First-year law students interested in participating in Mock Trial should take Evidence in the Spring term of their first year and Trial Practice and Procedure (TPP) in the Fall term of their second year. Trial team selection is based on the student’s interest combined with her performance in Evidence and TPP. Previous mock trial or advocacy experience, as well as overall academic performance, will also be considered. Students should reference the Elon Law Student Handbook with questions about course offerings or academic prerequisites.
Mock Trial experience is particularly helpful to students who plan to practice in courtroom settings, such as the District Attorney’s or Public Defender’s office; however, every student can benefit from developing and refining trial advocacy skills. The student trial teams work closely with experienced trial lawyers who serve as coaches for the trial teams. Coaches and teams meet regularly for several months to prepare the case for competition. During that time, students prepare the case components under the coach’s supervision and receive one-on-one instruction from the coach, an experienced trial lawyer.
The overall goal of the Mock Trial program is to offer rich learning experiences for interested students to aid in the development of exceptional trial lawyers. Students participating on Mock Trial teams become part of the Elon Law Trial Advocacy Board.
Prospective students interested in advocacy should apply for a position as an Advocacy Fellow. Advocacy Fellows receive priority invitations to join a Mock Trial team, assuming other course and academic requirements are met.