Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2011-06-08



Shannon Cornman O’Guin of Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law took second place in National Top Gun Mock Trial competition, which ended June 5.  The May Cumberland graduate lost to a competitor from Yale Law School in the final round of the event hosted by Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas.

The Top Gun competition, in its second year, is limited to 18 law schools that send their single best student trial advocates.

O’Guin, a veteran member of the Cumberland mock trial team, was chosen for the Top Gun event through an intra-school selection process. Originally from Knoxville, Tenn., O’Guin is a 2008 graduate of Samford, where she was a history major.

She had defeated a competitor from Suffolk University law school in the semi-final round of the Top Gun eliminations before advancing to the final round.

All Top Gun competitors participated in four rounds, switching sides after two rounds. The top four competitors advanced to a single elimination tournament in the unusually challenging event.

Top Gun participants do not know details of their case until 24 hours before competition. During that time, they take deposition of a witness, review existing depositions, records and photographs, and tour sites where events in the case supposedly occurred. The student advocates meet their witnesses for the first time shortly before each round.

The winner from Yale, Sarah Chervinsky, took home the top prize of $10,000.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.