Hofstra Trial Advocacy Association (HTAA) is a student-run organization devoted to the development of students’ trial advocacy skills. Such skills include conducting direct and cross examinations of witnesses, as well as performing opening statements and closing arguments in front of a jury. HTAA members compete and represent Hofstra at mock trial competitions.
HTAA holds an intramural trial advocacy competition each semester, which is open to all members of the Hofstra Law School community. These mock trial competitions are judged by HTAA executive board members and faculty advisors. Guest judges comprising of sitting judges and practicing attorneys with trial experience judge the final rounds. To become a member of HTAA, students must compete in an intramural competition and demonstrate impressive skills in the art of trial advocacy. The most impressive competitors are invited to join the organization each semester.
HTAA members may then try out for interscholastic competitions. Each team is coached by practicing attorneys, most of whom are Hofstra Law alumni. The competitors may earn course credit through participation on one of these interscholastic mock trial teams. During the 2011-2012 academic year, HTAA sent teams to 5 different competitions.
HTAA’s 2011-2012 interscholastic competition accomplishments include:
Judge Paul Joseph Kelly, Jr. Invitational Trial Advocacy Competition –
Quarterfinalists (November, 2011)
Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition –
Regional Champions, Team A (February 2012, Mineola, NY); Regional Finalists, Team B (February 2012, Mineola, NY)
Hofstra students also received individual awards at the regional round of the Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition for Best Opening Statement, Best Direct Examination, and Best Cross Examination.
In the 2012-13 academic year, the Law School expects to field teams for the Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition, Judge Paul Joseph Kelly, Jr. Invitational Trial Advocacy Competition, American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition, Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition, and the Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial Competition. Hofstra Law students have also participated in the Puerto Rico Trial Advocacy Competition.