The Order of Barristers is a national honorary organization whose purpose is the encouragement of oral advocacy and brief writing skills through effective law school oral advocacy programs. The Order seeks to improve these programs through interscholastic sharing of ideas, information, and resources. The Order also provides national recognition for individuals who have excelled in advocacy and service at their respective schools.
The Order of Barristers originated in 1965 at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law. The purpose was to honor graduating seniors who had demonstrated outstanding ability in the preparation and presentation of moot appellate argument. These students were selected by the Faculty Committee on Legal Research and Writing and the Director of the Moot Court Program.
The Order continued as a local honorary society until 1968 when the administrators of The Order initiated plans for expansion on a national basis. The law schools in the thirteen regions represented at the National Moot Court Competition were contacted, and favorable response to expansion was received. The Order was officially established as a national organization in 1970. A Constitution was adopted, and The University of Texas at Austin School of Law was elected Permanent Secretary on December 16, 1970, at the initial meeting of the Board of Governors during the final round of the National Moot Court Competition in New York City.
During the spring of 1971, a number of schools submitted applications for membership and the current roll boasts over 100 law school chapters throughout the nation. Schools having chapters in the Order include those nationally recognized for outstanding moot court and mock trial programs and for successful participation in regional, national, and international interscholastic moot court and mock trial competitions.
In 1973, Martindale-Hubbell Inc. acknowledged the distinction of being selected to membership in the Order by agreeing to list it among the scholastic distinctions included in a lawyer’s biographical sketch.