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University of Cincinnati's Stephen Johnson prepares for the final.
Watch the final round of the 2021 competition.

Trial by Combat

The Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law and the UCLA School of Law co-host 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.

The fourth annual Trial by Combat will be held virtually June 25-27, 2021.


All college competitors are welcome to apply, including those graduating in 2020. If you are eligible for AMTA competition, you are eligible for Trial by Combat. There is no registration fee.


Email Justin Bernstein or Philip Pasquarello with questions.

Competition Format

Jonathan Kuang of UCLA addresses a witness during the final.

  • 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.
  • When the tournament is virtual, competitors may also receive assistance from a Second Chair—any current/graduating student from their school.

2021 Tournament

As students are confirmed, we will add their names here.

  1. Abby Branham, Florida State University
  2. Seva Castleberry, Duke University
  3. Benjamin Crosby, Patrick Henry College
  4. Bennett Demsky, Tufts University
  5. Raahema Durrani, University of Virginia
  6. Sydney Gaskins, University of Maryland - Baltimore County
  7. Elizabeth Grant, Stanford University
  8. Travis Harper, Harvard University
  9. Katelyn Hunt, Miami University
  10. Jafar Khalfani-Bey, University of California, Davis
  11. Riya Lakkaraju, Emory University
  12. Montana Love, Yale University
  13. Natalie Manoogian, Rhodes College
  14. Sahil Nerurkar, University of Chicago
  15. Clay Owens, The Ohio State University
  16. Audrey Shepard, UCLA

View past competition results and videos