Honors Programs

Trial Advocacy & Dispute Resolution Honors Board and Council

Fall 2016 Trial Advocacy & Dispute Resolution Honors Board

(front, left to right) Sharifa Heath, Associate Barrister (Trial Team Management); Christina Bear, Associate Barrister (ADR Team Management); Gina Ambrose, Presiding Barrister; Caitlin Frenzer, Associate Barrister (Council Development)
(back, left to right) Nicholas Hosler, Associate Barrister (Recruitment - Trial Teams); Courtney Sanders, Vice Barrister; Matthew Vasquez, Associate Barrister (Recruitment - ADR Teams); Andrew Martin, Associate Barrister (Event Logistics)

Students selected for our Trial Advocacy & Dispute Resolution Honors Board and Council support our nationally recognized Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution. The Honors Board consists of eight students entrusted with leadership positions within the program, and the supporting Council is made up of all students selected to compete on a team. Students are selected through a competitive interview and tryout process that takes place at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Our teams compete in the areas of civil and criminal litigation, arbitration, negotiation, mediation, and client counseling and consistently place among the top teams in the country. The Board and Council assist the Center in hosting events, including the award-winning invitational ABA/National Criminal Justice Competition, which enjoys a quarter-century reputation of excellence.

Council Member Information

Our trial advocacy and ADR teams work hard and are held to the highest standards. Students master the fundamentals of pre-trial and trial practice, the rules of evidence, develop work ethic and learn what it takes to function as a team to best represent a client.

Students are eligible to try out to for a team after completion of all first-year required courses. Students who have competed all first-year courses may try out for and compete on a mediation, client counseling, or negotiation competition team. Only students who have successfully completed Trial Advocacy and Evidence are eligible to try out for a trial team. Students selected for a team become members of the Trial Advocacy & Dispute Resolution Council. Team members are eligible to receive two academic credits.

After being selected to compete on a team, students work with practitioner coaches and our faculty to prepare for the competition. Council members are provided the opportunity and resources to help them develop into a dynamic advocates, proficient in resolving conflicts. Practice schedules are rigorous and students should expect to devote a significant amount of time to the program.

Along with practicing with their teams, council members assist the Honors Board and the Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution directors in administering Center events, including the annual ABA/JMLS National Criminal Justice Trial Competition (CJC), 1L Mock Trial and ADR competitions, regional ABA/ADR competition, various intra-squad competitions, showcase events, lectures, panel discussions, and demonstrations dealing with various aspects of advocacy and alternative dispute resolution. Council members are active participants at dress rehearsals and workshops and must fulfill office and activity hour requirements.

Honors Board Member Information

After one semester of service on the Trial Advocacy & Dispute Resolution Council, students are eligible to interview for a position on the Trial Advocacy & Dispute Resolution Honors Board. The Honors Board is comprised of a presiding barrister, a vice barrister, and six associate barristers. Honors Board barristers are selected by the Director and the Associate Director of the Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution at the end of the spring and fall semesters. Honors Board membership requires a top-third class rank or, in special cases, a discretionary appointment from the Director and Associate Director.

Along with competing on various interscholastic trial advocacy and dispute resolution teams, the Trial Advocacy & Dispute Resolution Honors Board works with the Center directors in managing the Council and planning and administering all Center events. Board members are responsible for administering Center events, including try-outs; 1L trial ad and ADR competitions; inter-squad, regional and national competitions; dress rehearsals; panel discussions; recruiting efforts; mentoring programs; and social events.

Board members receive partial tuition waivers for their semester of service, and are eligible to receive two academic credits for their service.