Trial Team

Trial Team is a pass/fail experiential Advanced Trial Advocacy course conducted in the fall (two hours) and spring (two hours) semesters for a total of four credit hours. Enrollment is by audition. Auditions take place during the spring semester for the following academic year. Eligibility for the trial team requires the prerequisites or co-requisites of three College of Law courses: Trial Advocacy (694), Fundamentals of Trial Practice (695) and Evidence (682). Those who accept invitations to the team register for the fall and spring sections of this class. These students will undergo rigorous training with a practitioner coach with periodic bonus critiques from College of Law faculty, Illinois alumni, and additional seasoned practicing attorney volunteers as competition weekends approach. 

Trial team competitions teach students how to meet the practical challenges that lawyers typically face in a modern legal practice. In addition to polishing their basic advocacy skills, team members learn how to analyze and master a case file, navigate a courtroom environment, discipline hostile or aggressive witnesses, and turn the laws of evidence into allies. The team participates in eight interscholastic tournaments each academic year at both the national and regional level. Trial team members try at least one case during each semester of membership and, in doing so, they transfer knowledge gained in the classroom domain into firsthand practical experiences in the courtroom. Moreover, members have exceptional opportunities at trial advocacy tournaments to make valuable networking connections within the legal community with sitting judges, practicing attorneys, and peers from law schools across the country.

Sequence and Prerequisites: Trial Advocacy (Law 694), Fundamentals of Trial Practice (Law 695), and Evidence (Law 682) are prerequisites or co-requisites.

Evaluation: This course will be graded pass/fail. A determination of passing or failing performance will be based on attendance at training sessions and competitions and participation in and preparation for training exercises and competitive events.