The Center for Advocacy

Hoffman Cup General Information


Thank you for having interest in The Daniel S. Hoffman Memorial Trial Advocacy Cup.

The Hoffman Cup is the premier trial advocacy tournament each year hosted by The Center for Advocacy (CFA) and the student-run Moot Court Board (MCB) at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. The Hoffman Cup is named after our school’s esteemed alumnus, former Dean of the Law School, and nationally-renowned attorney, the late Daniel S. Hoffman.

The Cup is hosted each fall, typically occurring over a four day period on one of the latter weekends in October. It is in this Cup that we crown our Hoffman Cup Champions,and our Outstanding School Advocacy.

The Hoffman Cup is both a showcase of our school’s best advocacy students, as well as an educational exercise for all. Since hundreds of area alumni, attorneys and judges volunteer to serve as Ruling Judges and Scoring Jurors, the Cup is also a great opportunity for students to make professional connections. So we at the CFA strongly encourage ALL interested students to participate.

Students who are 2L & 3L students can compete in The Hoffman Cup, and 1L students are encouraged to serve as witnesses for the upper-class teams. Laypeople are also welcome to volunteer as witnesses.

There are three (3) Tournament Rounds, and then the Top 8 teams advance to the Quarterfinals. The Top 4 teams then advance to the Semifinals, and the Top 2 teams advance to the Championship Round, which is always judged by a 5 judge panel of esteemed alumni, attorneys, and judges.

All rounds are “Power Matched”. This assures the integrity regarding the teams that advance throughout the tournament. Additionally it assures that as the tournament progresses a team’s opponents will have increasingly similar levels of experience and skill.

The Cup also offers two (2) brackets – the Crimson Bracket and the Gold Bracket. A team can elect to compete in whichever bracket they choose. The Crimson Bracket is typically for veteran squads and squads comprised of National Trial Team students. The Gold Bracket is for all non-Crimson squads. Teams will only compete against squads in their own bracket all the way until the Semi’s. It is in the Semi’s that the top two (2) teams from each bracket will meet. Thus,* it is guaranteed that four (4) teams from each bracket will advance to the Quarterfinals and two (2) from each bracket will advance to the Semi’s*.

Each fall, usually the first or second week of September, there will be a Hoffman Cup Informational Meeting that is generally advertised prior thereto. To apply for the tournament, teams need to complete an application and submit a $100 bond check to the Moot Court Board. The application is based upon the Merit Point Selection System (see the application on this site). The application allows the MCB to rank the teams for Round 1. Only in rare years, if the number of teams exceeds the university’s spatial capacities, will the Merit Point Selection System be used to qualify teams to compete. However, we have not encountered such spatial challenges in many years. So please apply.

The CFA also offers Hoffman Primers on the Saturdays approaching the tournament. These provide teams an opportunity to listen to case analysis from area attorneys who are familiar with the case. Additionally it is a chance for teams to ask evidentiary questions about the case.

The CFA also offers the “Jumpstart Coaching” program, which will provide a team with an area-alumni to serve as a coach for them for the Cup, if the team so desires. Again, this is another great opportunity to make professional connections in the Denver legal community.

There is additional information available on this site, so please explore it. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Director of the Center for Advocacy, David C. Schott.

We hope to see you “in the well” at The Hoffman Cup!

Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208