Board of Advocates

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Welcome to the Board of Advocates Page!

The Board of Advocates is a student-led organization charged with all of the school’s internal and external skills competitions. Each year, members of the Board of Advocates win top awards at regional and national competitions, consistently outperforming other top-ten law schools.

The general membership of the Board of Advocates is comprised of over 60 students who participate in competitions in three main areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Trial Advocacy, and Appellate Advocacy. Competition for a place on these teams is fierce during the Board’s yearly try-out process, with multiple students vying for each spot. Teams receive coaching from professors, Executive Board Members, alumni, and fellow students. 

The Board also places a strong emphasis on training fellow students and future members through internal competitions, such as the annual McBaine Moot Court Competition, the Halloum Business and Negotiations Competitions, and the Bales Trial Competition.  For our 2014 competition, the panel was judged by by Janet Napolitano, President of the UC system, Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court, and Chief Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California.  Judges for these events in past years have included Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer, and other judges from throughout the state and federal court system.

The Board of Advocates also provides opportunities throughout the year for students to nurture their interest in advocacy. On October 9, 2013, in partnership with the California Constitution Center, the Board welcomed the California Supreme Court for a special session at Berkeley Law.  The Board also organizes annual events such as Ninth Circuit Day, which provides students a rare chance to see the federal court in action in an academic setting.

Contact the 2014-2015 Board of Advocates Co-Chairs, Matt Bunnett and Will Schildknecht, for more information at boaltadvocates@gmail.com


Announcements

Our annual external competition newsletters are out!  Please see our TrialAppellate, and ADR newsletters for the 2013-2014 school year, detailing incredible victories, unforgettable learning experiences, and lifelong friendships.  Thanks everyone for a fantastic year. 

Congratulations to the 2014-2015 Executive Board. Next year's leadership will be co-chaired by Matt Bunnett and Will Schildknecht, with ADR Directors Francis Choi and Libby Hadzima; Appellate Directors Dan Bruggemeyer, Mike Gaffney, and Matt Moretti; and Trial Directors Roxana Guidero and Margi Schierberl.  We look forward to another great year under this fantastic slate of directors.

Board of Advocates members now have the opportunity to participate in our Lions of Litigation dinners with prominent Berkeley Law alumni!  Click here for more information.


Competition Winners!

The Board of Advocates has had a number of major wins and accomplishments this year, including championships in each of our trial, appellate, and ADR branches!  

Saul Lefkowitz Trademarks Competition: Most recently, appellate team members Wilson Dunlavey (2L) and Christina Farmer (3L) took home the title of National Champions at the Lefkowitz Competition in Washington D.C.  After winning the San Francisco regionals, the team advanced to D.C., where it beat out four other regional winners to claim the championship.  The team earned a prize of $3,000, plus an additional $1,000 for the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, its generous sponsor for the competition.  Christina and Wilson argued on behalf of (and alternately, against) a purveyor of souvenir guitars modeled after a guitar trademarked by a famous country music star.  These students knocked the socks off the judges, and even the head of the competition, who called our team's rebuttal one of the best he's ever heard.  Thanks to our coaches Jane Levich '13 from Harvey Siskind and Lauren Escher '13 from Gibson Dunn.

California Bar Environmental Negotiations Competition: The Alternative Dispute Resolution team added to their truly incredible string of victories with 2Ls Francis Choi and Andy Coughlan defending Berkeley's title in the Calbar Environmental Competition in Los Angeles.  Frances and Andy performed brilliantly in the final round, representing a developer trying to appease a "save the turtles" advocacy group. See this article about the team for more information about the competition, and our Awards page for more of this year's successes.