Tournament of Champions

Tournament of Champions

The National Board of Trial Advocacy is the annual sponsor of the Tournament of Champions, an invitation-only competition that showcases some of the nation’s top law students from 16 of the top trial advocacy institutions. Each fall, law students compete in teams of four; each team tries both sides of a civil case—twice as plaintiffs and twice as defendants. In addition to the opportunity to compete against some of the nation’s top law talent, participants also receive the benefit of intensive, one-on-one coaching from top-tier professionals in law school trial advocacy programs.

The Tournament of Champions began in 1989, when Professor Charles E. “Chuck” Kirkwood of the University of Akron School of Law hosted the first competition inviting the best student trial advocacy law schools in the nation. Invitations were based on performance over the years in two “open” student trial competitions, the National Trial Competition and the ATLA National Student Trial Advocacy Competition. Qualifications are now based on a three-year performance record at the National Trial Competition and the American Association for Justice National Student Trial Advocacy Competition, and performances at prior Tournament of Champions competitions.

The TOC Board of Directors include: Susan Poehls, Loyola Law School Los Angeles;  Judge Jim Roberts; Cumberland School of Law and Joanne Van Dyke, Syracuse University College of Law.

2021 NBTA Tournament of Champions Competition Participating Schools
The competition ran from November 4-7, 2021 via Zoom

Baylor Law School
Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law
Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Harvard Law School
LMU Loyola Law School
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Samford University Cumberland School of Law
Stetson University College of Law
Syracuse University College of Law
UCLA School of Law – “WINNER 2021”
University of Akron School of Law
University of California Berkeley School of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Wake Forest Law

Prior winners include:
UCLA School of Law (Los Angeles, CA) – 2020
Loyola University Chicago Law School (Chicago, IL) – 2019
Wake Forest University School of Law (Winston-Salem, NC) – 2018
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline Law School (Philadelphia, PA) – 2017
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline Law School (Philadelphia, PA) – 2016
Loyola Law School (Los Angeles, CA) – 2015