Duquesne University’s School of Law will host the most elite trial competition in the country from Wednesday, Oct. 27, to Saturday, Oct. 30. Participants from 16 of the best trial moot court programs in the nation—including Duquesne—will contend for the top spot at the 2010 National Institute for Trial Advocacy Tournament of Champions.
“We are honored to host this prestigious event that shines a bright light on Duquesne University School of Law as well as the City of Pittsburgh,” said Law School Dean Ken Gormley. “Not only is this the most significant trial moot court competition in the United States, it also brings together students, faculty, practicing lawyers, judges and alumni—all of whom work hard to make this a meaningful and memorable experience for each participant.”
The invitation-only competition will be held at the federal courthouse downtown. The event’s six rounds will be held from Thursday, Oct. 28, through Saturday, Oct. 30. Participation is based on a school’s three-year performance record at the National Trial Competition and the American Trial Lawyers Association National Student Trial Advocacy Competition, and performances at prior Tournament of Champions competitions. The 16 teams compete head-to-head for three days before more than 150 judges consisting of members of the trial bench, the appellate bench and accomplished trial practitioners.
Awards, including those for national champion and best advocate, will be presented at the tournament’s closing ceremony dinner on Saturday evening in Duquesne’s Power Center Ballroom.
The School of Law was first invited to compete in the Tournament of Champions in 2008, when it took the top prize and earned the honor of hosting the event in 2010.
“This is not just an extracurricular activity,” said Amelia Michele Joiner, one of the trial team coaches for Duquesne. “The students are actually learning the rules of case law, evidence, torts and employment discrimination, as well as many other areas. Not only do they have to know the law, they also must be persuasive, polished and convincing to a jury, opposing council and a judge. It’s an all-in, leave-nothing-on-the-table kind of experience.”
Participating law schools in the tournament include Syracuse, Loyola, Temple, Baylor and the University of Maryland, among others.