RALEIGH — Campbell Law School’s Miriam Sheppard ’22 has been selected to compete in the 2022 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition in June, hosted by Baylor Law School. This is the 13th Top Gun Competition and the first to be held in-person since the pandemic began.
Hartsell and Williams PA is sponsoring Campbell Law’s bid in the competition.
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.
Sheppard, who will be supported by Camille (Cami) Wrotenbery ’22, has won numerous advocacy championships including the South Texas Mock Trial Challenge in March. Wrotenbery was also a member of the winning team.
This Top Gun Competition is Campbell Law’s eighth 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 and Professor Dan Tilly is the only coach to have coached two Top Gun champions.
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 participating in Top Gun XIII are:
- American University Washington College of Law
- Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law
- Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
- Fordham University School of Law
- Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
- Quinnipiac University School of Law
- Samford University Cumberland School of Law
- Stetson University College of Law
- South Texas College of Law Houston
- Temple University Beasley School of Law
- UCLA School of Law
- University of California Berkeley School of Law
- University of Denver Sturm College of Law
- University of Georgia School of Law
- University of South Carolina School of Law
“Every year, we strive to provide a problem that challenges the best mock trial competitors in the country,” said Robert Little, Baylor Law’s Director of Advocacy Programs. “Top Gun XIII gives student advocates the chance to face the very best of their peers in the courtroom after having just twenty-four hours to analyze a detailed and complicated case file and prepare that case for trial.”
“We are especially excited this year about MG+M The Law Firm, sponsoring Top Gun for the first time,” Little added. “MG+M focuses on trying cases and producing trial lawyers, and they are coming to Top Gun to watch some of the best trial advocacy schools and students from around the country compete.”
Top Gun XIII kicks off the evening of Wednesday, June 1, when competitors attend orientation and a welcome dinner. Early Thursday morning, competitors will receive their case file. Preliminary rounds start on Friday morning and are held throughout the day on Friday and Saturday. The semifinal round will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday.
The ‘title match,’ the final round of Top Gun XIII, will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, and will be streamed live at https://www.baylor.edu/law/live.
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 4,500 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2021, Campbell Law celebrated 45 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.