Centers Of Excellence

A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy

From innovative courses to the nation's best mock trial team, UCLA Law offers a comprehensive, immersive approach to trial advocacy.


Trial Ready

Careers in the courtroom start here, with courses focused on oral and written advocacy, trial teams to test your skills and a certificate for those who complete the trial advocacy course of study.

The A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy provides comprehensive training in the strategies and techniques required to be a successful trial lawyer. Through courses, clinical opportunities and one of the best competition programs in the country, students learn how to prepare for and conduct jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examinations and closing arguments, as well as how to make and respond to evidentiary objections. Award-winning faculty, experienced trial lawyers, and nationally successful mock trial coaches lead the program.

Read our Fall 2021 newsletter.


Preparing Students to Practice

UCLA Law's trial team has ranked #1 in the country since 2019, winning 22 tournaments and six national championships in that time. We are also proud to co-host Trial by Combat, the college mock trial 1-on-1 mock trial national championship.

For Students

  • Scholarships

    Cappello Scholarships, sponsored by program namesake A. Barry Cappello, provide financial awards to admitted students with a history of success and interest in trial advocacy. The Irving H. Green Prize, named for the successful Los Angeles trial lawyer, is awarded annually to the graduating students who have demonstrated excellence in trial advocacy. This financial support is another way that UCLA’s commitment to trial advocacy is virtually unique among top-tier law schools.

    For more information, contact program director Justin Bernstein.

  • Classes

    At UCLA, the challenge isn’t finding classes that offer training in trial advocacy. The challenge is finding time to take them all. We offer Trial Advocacy, Trial Practice, Advanced Trial Advocacy, Advanced Trial Criminal Advocacy, Evidence, and Advanced Evidentiary Objections.

    These courses are in addition to Appellate Advocacy, Pretrial Civil Litigation, Depositions and Discovery, and Sentencing Advocacy. The law school also offers more than 50 clinical and experiential courses, several of which give students the opportunity to advocate in court.

  • The Art of the Trial

    Each semester, A. Barry Cappello '65 hosts The Art of the Trial, where he and other leading practitioners discuss their high-profile cases and address the real-world dimensions of trial practice, from jury selection and class-action litigation to strategies for preserving issues on appeal. The Art of the Trial series takes students beyond coursework and provides them practical tools they can use throughout their careers. Guest speakers have included Thomas Nolan, chair of Skadden's West Coast litigation practice; acclaimed trial lawyer Brian Panish of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP; veteran trial consultant Noelle Nelson; and appellate expert Norman Pine of Pine Pine Freeman Tillett.

  • Irving H. Green Memorial Lecture

    Irving H. Green was a much-honored trial attorney known for representing the underdog in courts across the country. During his career, Green received numerous awards — including the Ted Horn Memorial Award, given by the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association. He also was a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, a group whose membership is limited to 100 outstanding trial lawyers in the United States.

    Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1905, Irving Green grew up poor and attended night school, graduating from law school when he was only 20. While waiting a year to be sworn into that state's bar (its legal minimum age was 21), he worked for West Publishing Company, selling law books so that he could earn enough money to open his own law office. Mr. Green was admitted to practice in California in 1952, and he practiced in Los Angeles until 1981.

    Irving Green's enthusiasm for his work, his determination to help those who had no other champion, and his excellence and creativity serve as an inspiration today. Of his father, UCLA Professor of Mathematics Mark Green has said, "He lived his convictions while having a successful career." In a letter written about her late husband before the inaugural lecture, Fay Bettye Green noted, "Irving Green never forgot his background ... The trial of a case was his raison d'être— his research was thorough, and his skills enabled him to convince the jury of his client's cause."

    The Green family has chosen to honor Irving Green by creating a program designed to bring truly outstanding trial lawyers to UCLA to inspire law students and to engage in an exchange with them focused on the often unpopular role of lawyer.


    Dale K. Galipo '84

    Marc Seltzer '72

    Moses Lebovits '75

    Mark D. Baute '86

    Brad N. Baker '75
    Harland W. Braun '67
    A. Barry Cappello '65
    Anna Y. Park '92
    Stephen C. Yeazell

    Arnoldo Casillas '91

    Harland W. Braun '67

    Anna Y. Park '92

    Winston McKesson '82

    David R. Glickman '57
    Steven C. Glickman '82

    Barbara Hadsell '78

    Kent Burton '75
    Brad Baker '75

    A. Barry Cappello '65

    Kenneth R. Feinberg

    James J. Brosnahan

    Bryan Stevenson

    Elizabeth J. Cabraser

    Roxanne Barton Conlin

    Ned Good

    William W. Vaughn '55

    Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.

  • Other Lectures

    The Cappello Program also hosts lectures on practical, contemporary topics. For example, we hosted Women in the Courtroom, in which trial attorneys Amanda Bonn from Susman Godfrey and J'me Forrest from Munger, Tolles & Olson discussed challenges that women face in the courtroom—and strategies for overcoming them, and A Discussion with Black Trial Lawyers, in which commercial litigator Bart Williams, civil rights lawyer Olu Orange, and public defender Mercedes Cook discussed challenges that black lawyers face in court.

  • Cappello Certificate in Trial Advocacy

    UCLA Law students who complete a sequenced, rigorous program of training in trial advocacy and fully participate in UCLA Law's Mock Trial program are eligible for the Cappello Certificate in Trial Advocacy at graduation. This prestigious certificate recognizes the recipient's curricular and co-curricular commitment to and training in trial advocacy. In order to receive the Cappello Certificate for the 2018-2019 academic year, the law school requires satisfactory completion of the following:

    1. Trial Advocacy Courses. Students must complete at least one introductory trial advocacy course consisting of at least 2.0 units and at least one advanced trial advocacy course consisting of at least 2.0 units. Introductory offerings include Simulated Civil Trial Advocacy (Law 705) and Criminal Trial Advocacy (Law 720). Advanced offerings are any trial advocacy courses with the term "Advanced" in the title, including Advanced Topics in Trial Advocacy (Law 795) and Trial Advocacy: Using Real-World Jury Trials to Master Trial Techniques (Law 795), as well as Trial Practice (Law 798).
    2. Evidence. Students must complete at least one course in Evidence consisting of 2.0 or more units.
    3. Courtroom Experience. Students must participate in at least three events or activities that give them practical trial experience. Qualifying events and activities include (a) each semester in an externship for which the student receives course credit and in which the student is trying cases or handling preliminary or evidentiary hearings; (b) each participation in an internal trial competition organized by the Cappello Program; (c) each participation in an external competition as part of the law school's Trial Team; and (d) each semester in one of these clinics: Veterans Justice, Civil Rights and Police Accountability, Criminal DefenseInternational Human RightsAmicusSupreme Court, and Immigrant Family LawBond Advocacy, and Pay or Stay: An Exploration of the Bail System in America. For the purposes of the requirement, students only receive credit for the first participation in an internal trial competition.


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