The Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution

National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition | Thursday, March 20 - Sunday, March 23, 2013

The National Criminal Justice Trial Competition, held in Chicago, Illinois, is co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association and The John Marshall Law School.

Upcoming Relevant Competition Dates

Competition Application Period: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - Monday, September 30, 2013
Competition Materials Available: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Competition Dates: Thursday, March 20 - Saturday, March 22, 2014

General Rules

Four students constitute a team — in each round, two students act as advocates and two as witnesses. The students change from advocate to witness from round to round. During the trials, each student advocate must conduct a direct examination of a witness, a cross examination of a witness, and present either the opening statement or the closing argument. The Federal Rules of Evidence apply.

The competition consists of two preliminary rounds followed by a quarterfinal round in which eight teams compete, then a semifinal round in which four teams compete. The two winning semifinal round teams compete in the championship round. During the preliminary rounds, each team will prosecute and defend the case.


As part of the trial problem, students will be provided digital photographs and/or video/audio evidence, which teams must use to enhance the strength of the arguments presented. All courtrooms will have a projector and a screen available for the use of competitors.


Contact Us

Kelly Navarro
Associate Director, Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution
Phone: 312.427.2737 ext. 146