RALEIGH — Matthew Hobbs ’21 recently competed in the 2021 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition on June 4-6, hosted by Baylor Law School. This is the 12th Top Gun Competition and the second one conducted virtually and live streamed.
Baylor Law’s Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition is the most challenging, invitation-only mock trial tournament in the nation. Advocates from the top 16 trial advocacy schools competed head-to-head for the honor of being designated as the “Top Gun,” the best student advocate in the nation. In addition to the title, the championship trophy comes with a winner-take-all prize of $10,000.
Hobbs has competed on Campbell Law’s Mock Trial Team since 2019. In addition to Top Gun, he competed in the Lone Star Classic Mock Trial Challenge in San Antonio, Texas, in 2019, which is also invitation only. As the first trial competition that he and his teammates Daniel Nelson, Macy Stutts and Robyn Sanders competed in, they impressively came in second out of 24 teams. He then competed in the 2020 National Trial Competition, a competition co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and finished as a finalist. Later that year, Hobbs competed in the Summit Cup Competition hosted virtually by the University of Denver Strum College of Law, which is a national invitational competition honoring the top twelve trial advocacy programs in the nation. Campbell Law has received an invitation to compete every year since the Summit Cup’s inception in 2017. Most recently, Hobbs competed in the American Association of Justice (AAJ) Trial Advocacy Competition held virtually in May 2021, where he came in second with his teammates Summers Combs, Brianne Habit, Mike Vitale and Weldon Coates.
This Top Gun Competition is Campbell Law’s seventh time securing an invitation to this prestigious tournament. Previously, Campbell Law has had two final four finishes by Andrew Shores ’13 and Kaitlin Rothecker ’15, and two championship victories by Jacob Morse ’17 and Tatiana Terry ’19. Campbell Law School and Yale Law School are the only law schools with two Top Gun championship titles.
Unlike most trial competitions, Top Gun competitors receive case files merely 24 hours before the first round of the competition begins. With just one day, participants must decipher the most important facts of the case after reviewing hundreds of pages of documents in order to prepare for trial. Competition preparation routinely involves reviewing depositions, records and photographs and analyzing crime scenes or events where the realistic but hypothetical case occurred. Advocates are also assigned witnesses who may be used at their discretion. The jurors and judges for each round of the completion are distinguished trial lawyers and judges, which creates an unparalleled degree of realism in the courtroom.
SCHOOLS SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN TOP GUN XII – NATIONAL MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION
Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law – Matthew Hobbs
Chicago-Kent College of Law – Zoe Appler
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law – Ryan Nasino
Fordham University Law School – Carolyn McGuigan
Georgetown University Law Center– Paulina Piasecki
Harvard Law School – Joy Holden
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles – Rima Sahakyan
Samford University Cumberland School of Law – John Banks
Stetson University College of Law – Tyler Hillier
Syracuse University College of Law – Tyler Jefferies
Temple University Beasley School of Law – Lauren Doig
UCLA School of Law – Jack Eyers
University of California Berkeley School of Law – Jenna Forster
University of Denver Sturm College of Law – Rebekah Nickel
University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law – Josh White
Wake Forest University School of Law – Jacq Kasemsri
ABOUT CAMPBELL LAW
Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law 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 2021, Campbell Law is celebrating 40 years of graduating legal leaders and 12 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.