Bales Trial Competition
The Berkeley Law Bales Trial Competition is an internal trial advocacy competition sponsored by The Board of Advocates and the Bales Family Endowment. "Bales", as it is affectionately called, is an entry-level tournament designed to introduce students to trial advocacy and encourage them to consider joining the competitive trial program at Berkeley Law. It features approximately twenty teams of two students, divided amongst prosecutors and defense attorneys trying a fictional case.
Rules and Procedures
The Third Annual Bales Trial Competition (February 2011)
In 2011 more than 50 students participated in the Third Annual Bales Competition, where student advocates tried a murder case in two preliminary rounds over the course of two evenings. Current members of the Board of Advocates and practitioners judged the participants and four teams advanced to the semi-finals the following week. In the final round, Molly Smollen and Rachel Schwartz represented the defense and won the entire competition. Hannah Minkevitch and Nate Johnson were the finalists representing the People in the final round in front of three full-time judges who generously donated their time to judge the final round. The following participants won individual outstanding advocate awards: Shannon McGuire, Ciara Mitan, Molly Leiwant, Kaitlyn Murphy, Erik Bauman, and Brian Corman.
The competition is open to all JD students interested in trial advocacy. Semi-final and final rounds will occur on the same date. The purpose of the trial competition is to allow 1Ls to experience trial work and consider trying out for an outside competition team. 2Ls and 3Ls not on competition teams are also invited to participate as a way to learn and practice trial skills and consider careers in trial advocacy. 2L and 3L students may not compete if they were involved with the Bales Competition in 2010. Furthermore, no participants may consult students who participatedin the 2010 competition.
No previous trial experience is required. In the month before the trials, experienced practitioners will be giving trainings on effective direct examination, cross examination, and opening and closing statements. In addition, Board of Advocates members will offer a half-day "putting it all together" weekend workshop to assist in presentation and individual coaching. Teams are expected to practice on their own and be prepared to present a professional case on competition day. All teams will be presented feedback from judges. Those considering trying out for BOA's outside competition trial teams next year may "submit" their performance in the competition in lieu of a formal tryout in April.
For information on how to participate in Bales, please contact the 2012 Tournament Directors Mellori Lumpkin ('12) and Aaron Spolin ('13) by emailing email@example.com.