A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy

The UCLA School of Law and Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law co-host the Trial by Combat, the 1-on-1 collegiate mock trial national championship. This tournament aims to celebrate the best individual college competitors in the country—and identify the very best.

Moving forward, the tournament will rotate from coast to coast. The second annual Trial by Combat was held June 21-23, 2019 in Philadelphia, at the Kline Institute for Advocacy. The 2020 event will be here at UCLA. We are proud to partner with Drexel, home to one of the most successful trial advocacy law school programs in the nation.


All college competitors are welcome to apply, including those graduating in 2019. If you are eligible for AMTA competition, you are eligible for Trial by Combat. There is no registration fee.

Apply for Trial by Combat

Email tournament director Justin Bernstein with questions.

Competition Format

  • Competitors receive the case on the morning of the first day of the tournament and have approximately 24 hours to prepare.
  • Each trial has two attorneys (P attorney v. D attorney) and two witnesses (P witness v. D witness).
  • During the four preliminary trials, each competitor performs each of those four roles exactly once, though significantly greater weight is placed on attorney performance. The top four students compete as attorneys in the Semifinals, and the winners compete as attorneys in the Championship Trial.
  • The field is limited to 16 competitors nationwide.
  • During the tournament, competitors may receive help/coaching from one person—a coach, a teammate, an alum, whomever they wish.

2018 Tournament

Trial by Combat 2018 was an unqualified success. After drawing applications from more than 100 AMTA students across the country, the top 16 students were selected. They represented 6 of AMTA's top ten TPR team, and they owned an astounding 21 All-American Awards. NYU's Nick Ramos won the competition—and our unique first place trophy, an engraved sword. You can watch the final round here.

2019 Tournament

As students are confirmed, we will add their names here:
  1. Mary-Preston Austin, Wheaton College
  2. Elizabeth Bays, Yale University
  3. Regina Campbell, University of Chicago
  4. Daniel Elliott, Rhodes College
  5. Natalie Garson, Boston University
  6. Sydney Gaskins, University of Maryland - Baltimore County
  7. Sabrina Grandhi, University of Virginia
  8. Christopher Grant, Northwood University
  9. Claudine Isaac, New York University
  10. Stephen Johnson, University of Cincinnati
  11. Sangeetha Kannan, Pennsylvania State University
  12. Mike Kleynman, Rutgers University
  13. Jonathan Kuang, University of California, Los Angeles
  14. Jack Seigenthaler, Stanford University
  15. Sarah Stebbins, Georgia Institute of Technology
  16. Steven Torres, Cornell University

More Information

Contact Information

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