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Moot Court, Mock Trial and Advocacy Programs

The development of practical, real-world litigation skills in a courtroom setting is a crucial element of the St. Mary’s experience. This belief is affirmed every day through the actions and accomplishments of our highly respected advocacy programs. These programs provide an ideal environment for students to develop and polish their trial and appellate courtroom skills, as well as their negotiation, mediation, client counseling and dispute resolution skills that are the hallmark of great attorneys.

The St. Mary’s advocacy programs are consistently recognized for competitive excellence on regional and national levels.

Advocacy at St. Mary’s is comprised of three primary programs that allow students both academic and competitive opportunities to hone their skills prior to graduation. Each of these three programs use the state-of-the-art technology- appointed courtroom:

The St. Mary’s Law National Team

The St. Mary’s Law National Team, formerly known as the External Advocacy Program (EAP), prepares students to become practice-ready advocates through training and competitions against other teams in regional and national competitions.

St. Mary’s Law students have enjoyed tremendous success. Teams took home the championship trophies in the 2017 and 2016 American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition, the 2015 William Daniel National Mock Trial Competition, and the 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Federal Bar Association Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competitions.

ABA Top 5

The St. Mary’s National Team consists of the National Champion Moot Court Team, the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Team, the National Trial Team, and the International Jessup Moot Court Team.

Board of Advocates

The Board of Advocates (BOA) administers competitions throughout the academic year in order to give students of St. Mary’s University School of Law practical experience in the art of advocacy. The BOA consists of 20 law students who are responsible for the development and organization of all in-house advocacy competitions. Selection into BOA is made at the end of each spring semester.

First-year law students may only compete in First Year Moot Court and Jimi Derrick Moot Court. Second- and third-year law students may compete in all competitions except First Year Moot Court. All law students may volunteer as clients, witnesses, bailiffs and marshals in any competition.

Board of Advocates
St. Mary’s University School of Law
San Antonio, Texas 78228

The Lone Star Classic®

The Board of Advocates also oversees the Lone Star Classic®, an annual invitational mock trial tournament open to ABA – accredited law schools nationwide held at St. Mary’s.

The Order of Barristers

The Order of Barristers is a national honorary organization whose purpose is the encouragement of oral advocacy and brief writing skills. The order also provides national recognition for individuals who have excelled in advocacy and service at their respective schools. The application period is now open.

To be considered for selection to the Order of Barristers, please complete this application and attach the required information.

Advocacy Curriculum

The goal of the St. Mary’s advocacy program is to prepare students to be effective advocates in courtroom settings. The curriculum focuses on litigation skills that enable students to speak persuasively and build credibility with the court and jury. When students decide to come to St. Mary’s, they know they will have many opportunities to excel in advocacy.

Trial Advocacy

Trial Advocacy classes are designed to give students an introduction to specific trial advocacy techniques such as voir dire examination of jury panels, opening statements, and direct examination of witnesses.

The techniques are demonstrated by instructors and students are given opportunities to perform, and receive instruction concerning, exercises in many aspects of civil and criminal cases.

The Order of Barristers

The advanced course builds upon Trial Advocacy and introduces students to additional techniques for presenting cases before a court using technology. This course addresses both the details of utilizing technology in the courtroom, as well as strategic and evidentiary concerns surrounding the use of technology. Students are given extensive exposure to the latest advances in St. Mary’s high-tech courtroom.