Baylor Law School Hosts Mock Trial Competition

June 15, 2015
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Media contact: Eric M. Eckert, (254) 710-1964
WACO, Texas (June 15, 2015) – Baylor Law School hosted its annual Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition on June 7, and the winner walked away with a $10,000 prize and the title of the nation’s “Top Gun.”
The Top Gun National Mock Trial competition is now in its sixth year at Baylor and is an invitation-only tournament which the best advocates from the nation’s top 16 trial advocacy schools go head to head.
Rahul Hari, a student at New York University School of Law, was named this year’s winner.
"When we created Top Gun in 2010, we saw a need for a new type of competition that provides a forum to challenge the very best mock trial competitors," said Gerald Powell, J.D., The Abner V. McCall Professor of Evidence at Baylor Law School. "This competition gives young advocates the chance to go up against the very best of their peers and gives all of us an opportunity to see the most experienced and talented law students in the country. I hope all of our competitors leave with a sense of pride in what they have accomplished."
The competition is unlike many others due to the fact that competitors do not receive their case files (depicting fictional occurrences) until they arrive at Baylor Law School, 24 hours before the first round of trials begin. Preparation for the competition includes reviewing depositions, records and photographs, along with trips to the physical location where the events of the case were played out.
"Top Gun is unique in so many ways,” Powell said. “Competitors only have 24 hours to prepare the case; there is only one lawyer for each side; the case file changes in some respect every day of the competition; and then there is the prize money, $10,000.”
Baylor Law School's Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition is sponsored by Naman Howell Smith & Lee, PLLC, which provides the prize money. The firm has offices in Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Waco.
by Spencer Cutright, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was the first law school in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,000 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as the third best in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked No. 51 in the magazine’s 2015 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law in its top 10 law schools for practical training, and second best value in private legal education in the nation. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Learn more at