About the Thomas Swan Barristers’ Union


The Thomas Swan Barristers’ Union provides students with the opportunity to learn trial advocacy skills in an educational, fun, and competitive environment. Students act as attorneys and simulate a jury trial, preparing witnesses and writing and performing pre-trial motions, opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments. All students are eligible to participate in both the intramural and national competitions. Both competitions take place during the spring semester. The intramural competition is open only to Yale Law School students, and culminates in a championship trial, over which a sitting judge or prominent attorney presides every year. The national trial advocacy team competes against other law schools in the prestigious National Trial Competition, an annual tournament based on a civil or criminal case, and other trial advocacy tournaments around the country. 

Executive Board Contact Info


Please contact a current Barristers’ Union Executive Board member with questions:

Sam Adkisson: [email protected]

Samir Doshi: [email protected]

You don’t have to be a lawyer, but you have to be an involved person. You have to care enough about things to do something about them. It doesn’t have to be politics. It can be your church, your school, your community center; however, you want to be involved. What you cannot do is ignore things.”


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Class of 1979