This month, 16 of the best trial advocates from the nation’s top advocacy law schools will compete head-to-head in a winner-takes-all competition for the honor of being named National Top Gun. Long-term sponsor, Naman Howell Smith & Lee PLLC, has once again offered a $10,000 prize for this year’s Top Gun. The 2020 competition, May 27-31st, will be the first-ever national mock trial competition held live, entirely online, adding technology constraints to what is already known as the most intense mock trial competition for law school students. All rounds of this year’s competition will be live streamed.
The Top Gun competition is unique by design. Unlike traditional mock trial competitions, participants cannot prepare for the case prior to the start of the event. Competitors are given access to the case files a mere 24 hours before the first round of the competition begins. With only one day to review the facts of the case and prepare for trial, competitors will need to quickly assimilate depositions, records, photographs, and other materials. Witnesses will be provided, but competitors will have only a short period of time to prepare them to take the stand – and it all must happen within the limitations of technology. The details of the case will remain a closely guarded secret until the event.
In addition to mastering the case file, this year’s Top Gun competitors must be thinking through the most effective way to advocate for their clients in a completely virtual environment – a concept lawyers and courts across the country are also in the process of figuring out. As the first competition of its kind, the competition will be live streamed so that lawyers, law students, and advocacy professors can learn best practices for effective advocacy in a virtual trial. Be sure to visit the 2020 Top Gun XI website (https://www.baylor.edu/law/TopGun) on March 29th to start watching virtual trials.
Top Gun competitors are selected by Baylor Law to attend this premier national law school mock trial competition. The law schools and advocates invited to the 2020 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition are:
Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law – Kevin Littlejohn II
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law – William Booth
Fordham University School of Law – Aishling Fitzpatrick
Loyola University Chicago School of Law – Rebecca Garcia
LMU Loyola Law School Los Angeles – Jordan Avey
Samford University Cumberland School of Law – Dylan Scilabro
Stetson University College of Law – Sara Papantonio
Syracuse University College of Law – Adam Leydig
Temple University Beasley School of Law – Eric Love
UCLA School of Law – Deeksha Kohli
University of Akron School of Law – Imokhai Okolo
University of Denver Sturm College of Law – Phillip Meinkoth
University of Michigan Law School – Olivia Dworkin
University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law – Simone Leighty
University of South Carolina School of Law – Carson Sadro
As the organizer, Baylor Law does not field a team.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ed Nelson, Director of Marketing & Communications
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Established in 1857, Baylor Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,500 living alumni. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools, Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. Baylor Law boasts among its notable alumni two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as among the best in the nation at No. 2. Baylor Law School also is ranked in the Top 50 in the magazine’s 2020 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the “Best School for Practical Training” and “Best Law School Facilities” listings. Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since its inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu