Points and Membership Levels

How is the BOA Structured?

The BOA is a student-led organization formed to train and educate law students in transactional and trial and appellate advocacy by means of mock trial, moot court, negotiations, client counseling, arbitration, and other competitions related to the legal profession.

The purpose of the BOA is to provide a forum for training effective advocates. Our purpose is furthered by hosting, or assisting, local, regional, or national competitions.

Please see our Consitution if you have any questions about how the BOA’s organization, structure, and purpose.

How do I Achieve the Order of Barristers?

Participating in a BOA event is a great way for students to develop the advocacy skills that are vital to a lawyer’s success.  Once you have registered, you are eligible to earn BOA points and may begin working your way towards official membership in the organization.

The Board of Advocates has three levels of membership:


5 Competition &
3 Administrative


16 Competition &
5 Administrative


30 Competition &
10 Administrative

Additionally, those members who reach the Master level with the Board of Advocates will be honored with a Master Level Gavel and are eligible for entry into the prestigious Order of Barristers, a national honors society.

Please read our Consitution for more information about the structure of the BOA, membership levels, and more about the organization.

How do I Earn BOA Points?

Board of Advocates membership levels are acquired by earning “points.” Points are divided into two general categories, “Competition” and “Administrative.” Please read the BOA’s Official Points Rules regarding points submission. All points are now submitted by the BOA Director in charge of that event.

Competition: These are the membership points earned through competing in on- or off-campus competitions. You can also earn competition points for participating in the Dallas Kids Project if you choose BOA points over public service hours

Administrative: These are the membership points earned by assisting the BOA in a variety of administrative areas. There are two sub-categories of administrative points: service and participation.

  • Service Points are earned by activities such as serving as a bailiff (time-keeper) or witness in on-campus competition rounds, participating as a Chief Justice in the Jackson Walker Moot Court competition, serving as an instructor for the Dallas Kids Project, among other activities. You may also earn service points by being an officer in the BOA Executive Council or simply by helping the BOA with any approved business (for example, helping the officers run an event). There is no limit to how many service points you may earn, and they are considered good evidence of support for advocacy on an Order of Barristers Application.
  • Participation Points are earned by attending BOA competitions such as the final round of the Howie Sweeney Moot Court Competition. Participation Points must be advertised by the BOA in advance; simply attending a competition does not guaranty earning these points. Furthermore, you are limited to five participation points in your law school career.
  • Please note that SMU only allows a maximum 10 hours of Dallas Kids Project work to count towards the 30-hour service requirement for graduation. 
  • Below are the points breakdown per type and event. The BOA reserves the right to make changes to these rules. Please contact the Membership Director with any questions or comments.

Points Audit Each Semester

Please remember that we are continuing to use a points audit deadline each semester. This means you must check your BOA points from the prior semester by a specific date. After the deadline, all points from the previous semester are locked in.

  • If you plan to apply for Order of the Barristers, it is essential to keep track of your own BOA points. Implementation of bi-annual audit deadlines ensures accountability in doing so. Additionally, the deadlines help to prevent last-minute point disputes.
  • If you see any errors in your point summary or total, please contact the Membership Director.
  • If you would like to request a detailed point history at any time, you may do so. Please email the Membership Director to make that request.