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National Appellate Advocacy Competition


2015-2016 Winners and Finalists

The finals of the 2015-2016 ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition were held at the Everett McKinley Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago from April 7-9, 2016. Here are the winners of the team and individual awards. Photos can be found on our Facebook page.

National Champion
St. Mary’s University School of Law
Stephanie De Sola, Leah Wise, and William Calve
Team 659

National Finalist
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Maximillian Casillas, Nima Jalali, and Katherine Tanaka
Team 322

Best Advocate
Caitlin Ajax, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Team 703

Best Brief
University of Georgia School of Law, Kate Hicks and David Tyler Adams, Team 423

 More Results» 

General Information

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.

2016-17 NAAC Topic: Ethics

Registration will be open June 1, 2016 through November 1, 2016

Entry Fee:
First Team $700
Second Team $650

Competitor Names are due by November 2, 2016*. Please verify your competitor’s ABA Memberships are active before completing the Competitor Name Form (coming soon).
*please note the new deadline. Schools will not receive a copy of the competition problem until all competitor eligibilty has been confirmed.

Competition Rules and Guidelines

 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.

2016-2017 NAAC Competition Dates and Locations

Regional Dates and Locations will be posted as they are finalized throughout the summer.

Entry and Fee Payment Deadline
November 1, 2016

Competitors’ Names & ABA Membership ID Numbers Due
November 2, 2016

Regional Problem Distributed
November 11, 2016

Brief Submission Deadline
January 2, 2017

Regional Competitions
February 16-18, 2017
February 23-25, 2017
March 2-4, 2017

National Finals (Chicago, IL)
April 6-8, 2017

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 Law Student Division Premium members for the current school year to be eligible to compete. Membership is $25 for the year. To join, please call the ABA Service Center at 800.285.2221 or visit the ABA website at