The Mock Trial Board hosts the annual Duke Law Mock Trial Tournament every spring. Teams of four students from Duke Law compete for the prestigious Twiggs-Beskind Cup. All 1L and 2L students are invited to compete, and the top competitors are invited to join the Board.
History of the Twiggs-Beskind Cup
The Twiggs-Beskind Cup is named in the spirit of interscholastic competition. In the 1980s, Professor Donald H. Beskind LLM ’77 coached the Duke Law national mock trial competition team, but believed opportunities to sharpen trial advocacy skills should be accessible to more students. Soon thereafter, Prof. Beskind helped found the Mock Trial Board and start the Duke Law Mock Trial Tournament. While Prof. Beskind taught at Duke Law during this time, his full-time job was as a partner at the then-downtown Raleigh firm of Twiggs, Beskind, Strickland & Rabenau, P.A. Prof. Beskind and fellow partner Don Strickland ’84 decided that the Tournament needed a trophy worthy of the work students put into each competition. In 2004, their firm donated an imported English silver-plated trophy to the Mock Trial Board for this purpose, still in use today.
Not all the partners at the firm were Duke graduates, though. The two other named partners were alums of some of Duke’s fiercest Tobacco Road rivals: Howard Twiggs, a dedicated Demon Deacon from Wake Forest University School of Law, and Karen Rabenau, a proud Tar Heel from the University of North Carolina School of Law. In honor of the founding support of Twiggs, Beskind, Strickland & Rabenau, P.A. – and in keeping with the Mock Trial Board’s goal of promoting both intra- and interscholastic competition (even against schools with worse basketball teams) – the Tournament was named in the firm’s honor. Twiggs, Beskind, Strickland & Rabenau, P.A. went on to sponsor the Cup annually for many years, and their support lives on in Duke Law’s premier trial advocacy competition, the annual Twiggs-Beskind Cup.
Former Dean Levi with the final round participants of the 2010 Twiggs-Beskind Cup.