Closing Argument Competition

Thank you for your interest in the 7th Annual Closing Argument Competition. 


 HGD is excited to once again bring this competition to local law students. Heninger Garrison Davis takes great pride in this event and the learning opportunity it provides for students attending Cumberland School of Law and Birmingham School of Law. Our goal is to encourage advocacy and reward those law students for advancing their advocacy skills.

Registration will be limited to 20 participants with only five members of trial team to be included. Competitors are encouraged to have completed or be enrolled in Basic Skills in Trial Advocacy.

Each participant will be given a trial problem and asked to present a closing argument before a mock jury that may include judges, lawyers and laypersons. There will be no evidentiary objections. Participants will be randomly assigned plaintiff or defense.


DATE: August 28, 2023
OPENS: 9:00 am

Click here to register.


1st Round of Competition: 4:00 pm 9/27 and 9/28/2023

  • 20 participants
  • 10 minute time limit
  • May reserve time for rebuttals

Final Round: 4:00 pm

  • 10/4/2023
  • Top 6 will advance to the final round
  • 15 minute time limit
  • May reserve time for rebuttals


Judging Criteria

Scores will range from 1 – 5 points in each of the following areas:

  • Proper Use of the Facts and Law
  • Presentation Skills
  • Presence
  • Persuasiveness

Maximum points = 20


  • 1st Place will receive $1,000 & an engraved plaque
  • 2nd Place will receive a check for $750 & an engraved plaque
  • 3rd Place will receive a check for $500 & an engraved plaque

Supplemental Instructions

  1. No motions regarding facts or evidence will be heard.
  2. No case law should be argued by advocates.
  3. Jury instructions may be used in closing argument.
  4. For purposes of this competition, no witnesses will be called to the stand to testify.
    • Rather, the deposition transcripts contained within the packet are to be interpreted as the trial transcript. 
    • All  witness statements are to be interpreted as though the facts contained therein were admitted throughout the course of this trial.
    • All attached evidence has been deemed admitted throughout the course of trial.
  5. Evidence may be used in closing argument. Large blow-ups of evidence are not permitted. Advocates may, however, hold up exhibits to show them to the jury.
  6. Advocates are allowed to use dry erase boards and/or flip charts for demonstrative purposes in closing argument, should they choose to do so.
  7. No facts or evidence shall be argued in closing that have not been admitted within the transcript. Reasonable inferences may be drawn from the facts within the problem. If a competitor believes their opponent has introduced evidence which was not contained in the problem, they may present such complaint to the bench judge after the round is complete.
  8. Competitors which are not delivering their closing argument shall remain outside the courtroom at all times other than when they are delivering their own closing argument. Anyone else is welcome to attend.
  9. Any questions about the case problem or trial competition may be emailed to Tzena Gauldin at