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National Appellate Advocacy Competition


General Information

Registration for the 2015-16 National Appellate Advocacy Competition is now closed.

2015-16 Competition Topic: Criminal Law

Entry Fee:
First Team $700
Second Team $650

Competitor Name Form

Competitor Names are due by December 1, 2015. Please verify your competitor’s ABA Memberships are active and complete the Competitor Name Form.

Competition Rules and Guidelines

These articles, which do not necessarily reflect the views of the ABA Law Student Division or the NAAC Subcommittee, are provided as general educational aids and do not guarantee success in the NAAC.

Regional Assignments

The ABA Law Student Division will host six regional competitions over three weekends (two competitions each weekend). Once all the locations are finalized, each registered law school will be given the opportunity to rank their regional location preference among the six regional competitions.

The Law Student Division will use its best efforts to assign each school to its first or second choice, although we may have to resort to third choices to distribute the teams according to the number of courtrooms secured in each regional competition. Priority will be given to those schools in geographic proximity of their first or second choice.

Each school will receive official notification of its regional assignment. Participants should not make travel plans until they have received their official regional assignment from the ABA Law Student Division.

About the Competition

The ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience. Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The competition involves writing a brief as either respondent or petitioner and then arguing the case in front of the mock court.

2014-2015 Regional Winners and Rankings

Court Dates and Locations

2015-16 NAAC Dates and Locations

2015-16 Important Dates & Deadlines

Online Registration Opens
June 1, 2015

Entry and Fee Payment Deadline
November 1, 2015

Competition Problem Released
November 3, 2015

Competitors’ Names & ABA Membership ID Numbers Due
December 1, 2015

Electronic Briefs Deadline
January 4, 2016, 12pm CST

Regional Competitions
February 18-20, 2016
February 25-27, 2016
March 3-5, 2016

National Finals (Chicago)
April 7-9, 2016

Team Composition and Membership Requirement

A team consists of two or three JD candidates attending the same ABA-approved law school. Teams write their brief and then present oral arguments.

The regional competition consists of three qualifying rounds with each team arguing at least once on behalf of the respondent and once on behalf of the petitioner. Teams are power-matched for the first two rounds based on their brief scores. After the qualifying rounds, the top 16 teams advance to the semifinal round, with the winners advancing to the final round. The winning four teams from each regional competition advance to the National Finals.

All competition participants are required to be ABA members for the current school year to be eligible to compete.

In 2015-16 all student memberships are Free! Register your competitors and alternates today.

To join, please call the ABA Service Center at 800.285.2221 or join the ABA here.