Mary Ann Matney ’17 named new director of Competitive Advocacy Program

Photo of Mary Ann Matney '17

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — Mary Ann Matney ’17 has been named the new Director of Competitive Advocacy for Campbell Law School, Dean J. Rich Leonard has announced. 

“I am delighted to tell you that Mary Ann Matney will join us on March 13 as an Instructor and Director of Competitive Advocacy,” Leonard said. 

Matney, a well-decorated advocate, will take over Campbell Law’s award-winning program, which is currently being run by Interim Director Dan Tilly, who also serves as the law school’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The law school’s competitive advocacy program has been ranked among the very best in the nation by multiple publications, including most recently preLaw Magazine, and has earned one international championship, more than a dozen national championships, more than a dozen regional championships and more than 20 national individual best advocate awards. 

During her time at Campbell Law, Matney was a member of multiple mock trial teams and participated in a number of competitions including the Richard A. Lord Moot Court Competition, in which she finished as a quarter-finalist and received the Order of Old Kivett Advocacy Award. Matney also competed in the Lone Star Classic Mock Trial, the American Association of Justice Student Trial Advocacy and the prestigious National Board of Trial Advocates Tournament of Champions (TOC) as a member of the National Mock Trial Team. She served as an Honor Court Representative her first and second years of law school and served as the Honor Court Chief Justice during her third year.

Matney worked at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz and the law firms of Steinberg Law and Sparrow Law while in law school. She also interned at Highwoods Properties and in the Franklin/Granville County District Attorney’s offices.   

Following graduation, Matney was among the first to serve as a Wallace Advocacy Fellow. She had multiple responsibilities including managing all aspects of the advocacy program’s competitors and competitions, including mock trial, moot court, negotiations, client counseling, arbitration and mediation. She also developed electronic evidence modules and in-courtroom demonstrations for jury trials, coached mock trial and moot court students in preparation for national competitions and instructed students on trial techniques, particularly the use of electronic evidence in the courtroom. Matney also organized and directed Campbell Law’s first-time hosting of the National Trial Competition (NTC) – Region V, which the law school hosts again on Feb. 17-19, 2023. 

After completing her Wallace Fellowship, Matney became a Territorial Public Defender in Saint Thomas/St. John District of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she has been working until deciding to return to Campbell Law.

Matney earned her J.D from Campbell Law in 2017 and her B.S. in political science while minoring in legal studies from East Tennessee State University.   


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 4,700 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2024, Campbell Law is celebrating 45 years of graduating legal leaders and 15 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.