Trial Advocacy program ranked No. 28 in the country by U.S. News


Members of the high performing 2021 Akron Law Trial Team stand on steps inside the School of Law.

The 2021 Akron Law Trial Team maintained the school’s winning tradition, sweeping through the regional round of the Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition the last weekend of February. Pictured left to right: Coach Joe Darwal, Austin Nagy, Madeline Connolly, Katelyn Miller and Taylor Bennington.

As part of The University of Akron’s sesquicentennial celebration — honoring 150 years of our people, place and promises — we are hosting a “Celebration of Academic Excellence” to highlight the history and future of our colleges, schools and academic disciplines.

Today we continue to honor the achievements of the School of Law.

The University of Akron School of Law Trial Advocacy program is ranked No. 28 in the country out of the 186 rated programs in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Law Schools Ranking, released today. This was the highest ranking in this category among Ohio law schools and in the broader region encompassing Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania.

U.S. News also ranked Akron Law high for its Intellectual Property Law and Part-time Studies programs.

“We are pleased to be recognized again by U.S. News for our long-standing strength in trial advocacy and IP law and for our part-time J.D. program,” said Christopher J. (C.J.) Peters, dean of the law school. “While prospective law students should avoid overreliance on U.S. News or any other ranking system, we believe the specialty rankings are of some value, as they are voted on by experts in those fields.”

In the overall U.S. News law school ranking, Akron Law tied for No. 134, up several spots from last year’s ranking.

“We’re glad to be moving in the right direction,” said Peters. “However, the overall U.S. News rankings do not capture important aspects of law school, such as teaching quality, hands-on experiential learning opportunities, academic and career support services, and affordability — areas in which Akron really excels. For example, we are the only IP law program in the top 100 with tuition and fees less than $25,000 a year for all students.”

Trial teams’ track record

The Trial Advocacy program’s reputation is due in part to the consistently outstanding performance of the school’s student trial teams.

In February, the Akron Law trial team swept the regional competition of the Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition (TYLA NTC).

Last spring, Akron Law won the National Online Trial Advocacy Competition, topping a field of 170 competitors from 67 law schools. A few weeks earlier, the team reached the final four in Baylor Law’s Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition for the second straight year.

The team finished the 2018-19 season tied for No. 5 nationally in the Fordham Law Trial Competition Performance Ranking.