Campbell Law advocates advance in TOC to Final Four, receive Top Gun invite

Photo of Campbell Law advocates posing in courtroom wearing masks

RALEIGH — Campbell Law advocates competed virtually in the annual Tournament of Champions (TOC) hosted by Baylor Law School on Nov. 5-7, 2020. While finishing in the Final Four, defending champions Campbell Law eventually lost to the team representing the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

“We beat the UCLA team last year to win the Championship and then they came back and beat us this year to ultimately win the Championship,” Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard explained. 

The team, made up of third-year students Daniel Nelson, Macy Stutts and Summer Combs, and second-year students Brianne Habit and Carrie Duhon, went 4-0 in the preliminary rounds and advanced to the Final Four along with Harvard, Berkeley and UCLA law schools. The team was coached by Tatiana Terry ’19, who was assisted by Dean of Academic Affairs Dan Tilly, former director of the advocacy program.

The National Board of Trial Advocacy is the annual sponsor of the Tournament of Champions.

“While the team did not advance to the final round, the success of the student advocates earned Campbell Law an automatic invitation to Top Gun, an invitation-only mock trial tournament where the best advocates from the nation’s Top 16 trial advocacy schools compete head-to-head in the winner-take-all tournament,” said Professor Tony Ghiotto, director of the advocacy program.

Prior to the 2021 tournament, Campbell Law advocates have been invited to Top Gun six times and won Top Gun Championship twice in the tournament’s 11-year history. Only one other law school — Yale University School of Law — can claim two Top Gun champions and Tilly is the only coach to have coached multiple champions at the same school.

Learn more about the TOC at this link and Top Gun at this link.


Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law School has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,300 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2019, Campbell Law celebrated 40 years of graduating legal leaders and 10 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.