Justin Bernstein

Director of A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy
Lecturer in Law

  • B.A. UC Berkeley, 2003
  • J.D. New York University School of Law, 2006

Before joining UCLA, Professor Bernstein was an attorney for the Orange County offices of O’Melveny & Myers and Haynes & Boone, where he represented Fortune 500 companies, public-traded corporations, small businesses, and officers and directors in securities lawsuits and other commercial litigation. He now consults with attorneys preparing for trial.

Professor Bernstein has long maintained a passion for teaching and coaching trial advocacy. In 2014, he became the youngest person ever inducted into the American Mock Trial Association’s Coaches Hall of Fame. He has coached 16 trial advocacy teams to national or world championships at the law school, collegiate, and high school levels. His law students have won the Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition (2015, 2018) and Tournament of Champions (2017, 2020, 2021), TYLA National Trial Competition (2021, 2022), and AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition (2021, 2022). His undergraduate students at University of California, Irvine and New York University three times finished their seasons as the number one ranked teams in the United States.

Professor Bernstein is the former president of the American Mock Trial Association and a current member of its board of directors. He previously taught trial advocacy at the University of California, Irvine for nine years and developed its law school’s trial competition. He was an Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Trial Advocacy at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law.

Professor’s Bernstein book, Championship Mock Trial: The Guide for Participants and Coaches, was co-authored with Hon. David Nelmark and published by the American Bar Association. He co-hosts a trial advocacy podcast, Unscripted Direct, with Spencer Pahlke from UC Berkeley School of Law.

A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, he earned his law degree from New York University School of Law. At Berkeley he won three All-American Attorney Awards from the American Mock Trial Association, and at NYU he won both school-wide closing argument competitions.