Chicago-Kent trial advocacy

Trial Advocacy

Ranked #12 in the Country by ‘U.S. News & World Report’ (2024 rankings)

Want courtroom experience arguing in the hot seat before a panel of veteran judges? Care to test your rhetorical skills against some of the top competitors in the country? Chicago-Kent’s Trial Advocacy Program will hone your courtroom demeanor until it’s as persuasive as possible—and your brief writing will never be sharper.

Chicago-Kent is the team to beat in trial advocacy competitions, consistently ranked among the best in the nation. We won’t lie: Joining our team is hard work, but also well worth it for those who wish to gain invaluable courtroom experience. And you won’t go it alone: Our alumni and former champions volunteer hundreds of hours to help you bring out your best.

Our curriculum has offered rigorous courtroom skills training since its founding in 1971, when advocacy courses were a new phenomenon across the country. It was during that year that the school invited the Honorable Warren D. Wolfson, formerly an Illinois Appellate Justice, to teach a two-hour course Saturday mornings. As the popularity of the class grew, additional classes were offered until the program flourished to become the nationally-renowned powerhouse it is today.

In summary, Chicago-Kent's Trial Advocacy Program blends several elements: carefully selected and able faculty, experienced and devoted team coaches, student/teacher ratios that do not exceed 12:1, an administration that enthusiastically supports the program, and a student body that devotes itself to the time and effort necessary for substantial achievement. With these elements Chicago-Kent is committed to keeping its trial advocacy program ranked among the best in the country.

“For me, a big reason why I chose Chicago-Kent was the trial advocacy program. I was aware of its reputation and national ranking. Not only do you learn to think on your feet, you also get to learn very technical things like a cross examination or a closing argument, which are skills that apply to every area of law no matter what you practice. And for me it was a huge selling point in terms of employment.”

ZOE APPLER ’22, winner of the renowned Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition, which pits the best of the best trial advocates in the country against each other.

Hear from one of our many Trial Advocacy champions