TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Moot Court and Trial Advocacy Rankings

Following up on my prior post on law school moot court rankings:  here are the updated 2008 Top 25 rankings from Brian Koppen's Law School Advocacy site:

Moot Court (72 schools ranked):

  • 1.   South Texas
  • 2.   Georgetown
  • 3.   Washington University
  • 4.   Mississippi College
  • 5.   UC-Hastings
  • 6.   Seton Hall
  • 7.   Denver
  • 8.   Texas-Wesleyan
  • 9.   Regent
  • 10. Southwestern
  • 11. Detroit Mercy
  • 12. Georgia
  •       UC-Davis
  • 14. Brooklyn
  • 15. Lewis & Clark
  • 16. Hawaii
  •       Michigan State
  • 18. Campbell
  •       Wisconsin
  • 20. Columbia
  •       George Washington
  •       Marquette
  • 23. Houston
  •       Northern Kentucky

Trial Advocacy (38 schools ranked):

  • 1.   Faulkner
  • 2.   Samford
  • 3.   South Texas
  •       Wake Forest
  • 5.   Chicago-Kent
  •       Suffolk
  • 7.   Barry
  • 8.   Quinnipiac
  •       Syracuse
  • 10. Georgia
  • 11. Temple
  • 12. St. John's
  • 13. Akron
  •       Stetson
  •       UC-Berkeley
  • 16. Richmond
  • 17. New Mexico
  • 18. Campbell
  • 19. Florida Coastal
  •       Loyola-L.A.
  •       Pepperdine
  •       Washington University
  • 23. Buffalo
  • 24. Baylor
  •       Drake
  •       Florida International
  •       Loyola-Chicago
  •       North Carolina
  •       Thomas Cooley
  •       Tulane
  •       UCLA

Robert T. Sherwin (Texas Tech) today published a detailed, seven-part critique of these rankings on The Bench Brief:

  1. You can’t accurately rank an advocacy program solely on team results in national competitions
  2. You can’t give equal weight to, for lack of a better term, “unequal” competitions
  3. The rankings ignore regional champions and runners up at the National Moot Court Competition
  4. He refuses to acknowledge success at invitational or state-level competitions
  5. Why rank according to the calendar year and not the academic year?
  6. Koppen refuses to consider brief and advocate awards. Why?
  7. The rankings system really favors quantity, and not necessarily quality.

(Hat Tip: Bryan Camp.)

Law School Rankings | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Moot Court and Trial Advocacy Rankings:


Stay tuned to The Bench Brief (linked above).

I'm hopeful that, soon, the blog will include a responsive post.

Posted by: Brian Koppen | Sep 24, 2008 2:22:06 PM

Above, the TaxProf Blog posts The Bench Brief's seven-part critique of LSA's ranking of moot court and trial ad programs at American law schools. (LSA is

The Bench Brief kindly invited LSA's Ranker, Brian Koppen, to have a responsive post included at The Bench Brief.

This response is now included at

Posted by: Brian Koppen | Sep 28, 2008 12:58:48 AM

As an aspiring Trial Ad professor and recent graduate of Temple's Trial Ad LL.M program, I find these rankings intriguing and would love to know more about the methodology. I also own a company that does Public Opinion research, so I'm especially interested. If I were to attempt to rank Trial Ad programs, I would be inclined to consider the following list which is not, by any means, complete:


Taught by full time faculty or adjuncts?
Courtroom facilities available
Courtroom technology training
Deposition training
Motion practice training
Employment of real experts as expert witnesses
Final trial/exam done by bench or jury trial
Criminal and civil trials (student option)
Degree of involvement of local attorneys and judges
Advance Trial Advocacy class offered
Course in Trial Evidence class offered
Pretrial Advocacy class offered


Quality vs. Quantity of competition
Number of different students involved in competition
Criminal and civil competitions

Again, this list is not complete, but a starting point on factors that I think are important when evaluating Trial Advocacy programs.

Posted by: Marvin L. Longabaugh | Nov 28, 2008 9:09:38 PM