Board of Advocates


Competition Winners!

The trial team triumphs again, this time at the Estrella Trial Competition in Puerto Rico.  Team members Tamila Gresham, David Moakley, Jared Ginsburg and Neelam Mohammad brought home the gold and were crowned the champions, after winning every ballot in every round of the tournament.  Congratulations also to Jared Ginsburg for receiving the Best Oral Advocate Award. Thank you to coaches Tatiana Cottam, Roxana Guidero and Margi Schierberl for their support and coaching.

In other trial team news, Berkeley Law has won the ABA Labor and Employment National Championship!  The team members were (from left) Salah Hawkins ’15, Stephanie Llanes ’16, DeCarol Davis ’17, and Jerel Dawson ’15.  They were coached by Ivor Sampson, a partner
a Denton’s, and Katie Lubin-Benson, an associate at Lieff Cabraser.  Please see the “External Competitions: Trial Advocacy” page for more details about the competition.

The Board of Advocates has had a number of other major wins and accomplishments this year.  First, on October 19, 2014, the Board of Advocates’ Trial Team won the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s Tournament of Champions.  This invitational tournament is open only to the top 16 trial advocacy law schools in the nation.  It is an honor simply to be invited, and this year we took the title!  Our team, made up of Janice Lu, Jason Wu, Jordan Kahler, and Roxana Guidero was led by our fantastic alumni coaches, Spencer Pahlke ’07 and Justin Chou ’11, both from the law firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger.  Congratulations to the team!

Our ABA Negotiations Competition team of Francis Choi and Maya Ziv took home first place in the Regional Competition and will be off to Houston in the spring to try to take the National title.

The fun never stops: the National Civil Trial Competition, made up of Margi Schierberl, Samantha Sondag, Simon Mont, and Colin Jones, got Third Place in the Regionals!

Finally, the National Moot Court Competition teams are back from their regional competition, as well.  Team Katie DeMocker and Mike Gaffney made it to the quarter-finals (with Katie taking the “Best Oral Advocate” award on the first day of competition, and Avery Masters and Charlie Weiss made it to the semi-finals.  Congratulations to everyone!

For photo-rich descriptions of all this semester’s Trial competitions, please see our Fall newsletter on the Trial Advocacy page under External Competitions at right.  It’s worth a read.


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 2016-2017 Board of Advocates Co-Chairs for more information at




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