Joseph Lester Joins AUWCL’s Advocacy Program as Associate Director

Sept. 1, 2020

joe lester
Joseph Lester

American University Washington College of Law is pleased to welcome Joseph Lester as the associate director of advocacy training and competitions in the Stephen S. Weinstein Advocacy Program.

“Joe Lester is an excellent choice to build upon the solid foundation of our Advocacy Program, which is currently ranked #4 in the country for trial advocacy,” stated Professor Cynthia Jones, director of the Advocacy Program. “Joe has a well-earned national reputation in advocacy training.  In addition, the WCL community will benefit from his scholarship and expertise in gaming law, as well as his years of experience teaching Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and Trial Advocacy.”

Currently Southern Illinois University’s Hiram H. Lazar Distinguished Professor of Law, Lester previously taught at Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law where he served as the school’s director of advocacy programs for more than a decade. He led students to competition wins in trial, appellate, and mediation competitions throughout the United States.  He coached more than 30 teams to regional championships and coached 20 teams that advanced to national finals. He also created and ran the highly regarded national Mockingbird Challenge trial competition.  An active member of the national law school advocacy community, Lester created and maintains a website that is widely recognized as a definitive source for national trial competition performance rankings. Lester has been a trial consultant for a wide variety of cases in state and federal court, he serves on the Alabama Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee for the Alabama Rules of Evidence, and he is the author of the Thomson Reuters’ Alabama Practice, Alabama Evidence series.

“Having followed the success of American University for many years, I am honored to be joining such an esteemed program,” Lester says. “I look forward to working with WCL students who compete as part of independent teams and the Transactional Law Society, as well as the Moot Court, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Mock Trial Honor Societies. Given the wealth of talent at WCL, I see no limits to what we can accomplish.”

Lester is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and received his law degree from the University of Kentucky.  Starting September 1, 2020, Joe can be reached at