Mercer Law’s Advocacy Council (MAC) consistently ranks among the best in the nation in trial advocacy competitions. After a successful fall 2023 competition season, Mercer is now third in the nation in the prestigious Gavel Rankings, which recognize overall trial competition success and acknowledge programs that advance in the toughest competitions.
For the first time in 25 years, Mercer Law won the William W. Daniel Mock Trial Competition. This competition, which draws schools from across the country, is sponsored by the Georgia Young Lawyers Division and hosted by the Georgia State College of Law. Mercer trial teams were also semifinalists in the two premier fall trial competitions — the Tournament of Champions and the Summit Cup. This was the first time in school history that Mercer was invited to these elite competitions.
Mercer Law was also a semifinalist at the Case Classic Mock Trial Competition and, collaborating with Mercer School of Medicine, a quarterfinalist at the Hofstra Medical-Legal Trial Competition. Hofstra’s Medical-Legal Trial Competition is the only trial competition in the country where a medical school and a law school collaborate to simulate real-life expert testimony by doctors. Additionally, MAC moot court students were semifinalists in the first moot court competition of the year — the Claude E. Pepper Elder Law Moot Court Competition hosted by the Florida State University College of Law.
“I am so encouraged by the widespread success of our program this year. I believe our teams have shown Mercer Advocacy is not a flash in the pan. Our coaches, advocates and witnesses personify our program’s motto: Hard work betrays none,” said third-year Mercer Law student Willie Sizemore.
The team’s success was spread broadly across the whole program. Six separate teams placed in their competitions, four students won six individual awards, and the Case Classic semifinalist team was composed entirely of second-year law students competing in their first trial competition. Jaylee Bass, ’24, won Best Advocate at the Tournament of Champions and Best Cross-Examiner at the Tournament of Champions; Willie Sizemore, ’24, won Best Advocate at the William W. Daniel Mock Trial Competition and Jurors’ Best Advocate at Summit Cup; Chloe Bonds, ’25, won Best Opening Statement at the Quinnipiac Criminal Justice Competition; and Mallory Wall, ’25 won Best Advocate at the Case Classic Mock Trial Competition. Wall said that competing in the Case Classic Mock Trial Competition was a great experience and credits coaches Jeff Bloom and former MAC member Lauren James, ’21.
Bloom, director of advocacy said, “With a new crop of advocates, the breadth of our success this fall is extremely encouraging. It’s truly unheard of for one program to win four best advocate awards in one semester. And, we’ve had multiple teams — composed entirely of second-year law students competing in their first trial competitions — vie for championships. This bodes well for the future of the Mercer advocacy program.”
In its continued effort to support the larger advocacy community, Mercer hosted the regionals of the National Moot Court Competition in Atlanta and co-hosted the first Mock Trial Community Competition, designed to create an advocacy competition experience for law schools with limited advocacy opportunities. MAC students provided critical support to both of these endeavors.
MAC’s success is due to the hard work and diligence of students, coaches and faculty members. In August, Bloom assumed the position of director of advocacy when former director Katie Powers was elevated to become the first assistant dean of advocacy at Mercer Law. Bloom and Powers oversee the program and work with MAC members, providing individualized training, along with practicing trial lawyers who teach and coach, equipping students to succeed in competitions and in their future careers.
Mercer Advocacy Council is one of the nation’s most elite trial advocacy training programs, ranking 15th in Trial Advocacy according to the U.S. News & World Report and second in Advocacy Competitions in the American Bar Association rankings.