A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy


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 Simulated Civil Trial Advocacy, Criminal Trial Advocacy, Jury Selection, Trial Practice, Advanced Trial Advocacy (in which students try cases based on transcripts and evidence from famous trials), and Advanced Topics in Trial Advocacy (which covers storytelling, courtroom technology, and public speaking, among other topics).

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

Cappello Certificate in Trial Advocacy

VanAnh To 15 v2UCLA 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 2017-2018 academic year, the law school requires satisfactory completion of the following:

  1. Foundational Trial Advocacy - at least one of the following foundational courses:
  1. Evidence
  1. Advanced Trial Advocacy and Litigation Training Courses – at least two of the following courses*:

*The course "Advanced Trial Advocacy" will be offered and required in 2018-2019. This requirement will then be reduced to one course. UCLA Law Faculty may determine additional qualified courses as needed.

  1. Mock Trial Program Participation:
    • At least one (1) internal UCLA Law mock trial competition
    • At least two (2) external National mock trial competitions

Students can submit a statement of qualification beginning March 23rd with a deadline of April 13th to Associate Dean Emily Scivoletto.

Clinics and Courses

Students interested in trial advocacy can select from a broad range of courses and clinics that collectively provide in-depth coverage of every step in the litigation process, from the filing of a complaint in the trial court through arguing an appeal before the United States Supreme Court.

Course Guides

Student Competitions

Student organizations that do work in the area of trial advocacy include:

Mock Trial Association at UCLA

The Mock Trial Association conducts an internal mock trial competition that is open to all 1L students. In addition, members of the Mock Trial Association have the opportunity to represent UCLA in mock trial competitions throughout the United States. Competitions in 2016-17 include:

  • ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition
  • National First Amendment Moot Court Competition
  • Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition
  • American Intellectual Property Association National Moot Court Competition
  • NYU National Immigration Law Moot Court Competition
  • Roger J. Trainor California Appellate Moot Court Competition
  • Herbert J. Wechsler National Criminal Law Moot Court Competition
  • UCLA Law Williams Institute Moot Court Competition
  • UCLA Law Cyber Crimes Competition

Moot Court Honors Program

The UCLA Moot Court Honors Program puts on a series of internal moot court competitions open to all UCLA students. In addition, members of the Moot Court Honors Program have the opportunity to represent UCLA in moot court competitions throughout the United States. Competitions in 2016-17 include:

  • Florida National Trial Advocacy Tournament (Gainesville, Florida)
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice National Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition (San Francisco, California)
  • American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition (Regional: Los Angeles, California; National: New Orleans, Louisiana)
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition (Regional: Santa Monica, California; National: Fort Worth, Texas)
  • American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition (Regional: Los Angeles, California; National: Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Honors, Awards and Scholarships

AAJ Trial Advocacy Scholarship

Association of Business Trial Lawyers Law School Scholarship

A. Barry Cappello Scholarship

Order of the Barristers

Sanford M. Gage Award

Judge Barry Russell Award

UCLA Mock Trial Program Awards

UCLA Law Moot Court Honors Program Awards

Career Services

UCLA Law Career Services has a wealth of resources for admitted students hoping to establish careers in all areas of law, including trial work. Interested students should meet with their career counselor to discuss potential internships, externships and job opportunities in these fields of law.

More Information

Contact Information

Justin Bernstein 70x80Justin Bernstein
Director of A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy
Lecturer in Law