Arnup/Sopinka Cup

The Arnup Cup (pre-Sopinka), is an annual trial advocacy competition for Ontario law schools. It is organized by The Advocates’ Society and generously sponsored by WeirFoulds LLP. The Cup is named for the Honourable John D. Arnup, O.C., Q.C., who for many years sat as a distinguished member of the Court of Appeal for Ontario following a career as one of Canada’s finest litigation counsel.

First held in 1988, the Arnup Cup has increased in prominence over the years. Teams from each of Ontario’s law schools participate in trials held in a Toronto courtroom and presided over by judges of the Superior Court of Justice. Senior members of The Advocates’ Society act as assessors. The teams vie for the right to represent the province in the prestigious Sopinka Cup, Canada’s national trial advocacy competition held annually in Ottawa.

The Sopinka Cup

The Sopinka Cup is named for the Honourable Justice John Sopinka he became one of Canada’s foremost trial and appellate advocates. He was counsel in many high-profile and renowned cases, and one of the few lawyers to be appointed directly from practice to the Supreme Court of Canada, where he quickly established himself as one of the country’s most distinguished judges.

Following his untimely death in November 1997, The American College of Trial Lawyers honoured its former member by joining his family, colleagues and associates to develop the annual Sopinka Cup competition, inaugurated in 1999 as the national trial advocacy competition for Canadian law schools. A fund created with generous donations from the American College, law firms, former associates and friends across Canada provides annual financial support. The Advocates’ Society assumed the role of competition administrator in 2003.

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What you need to know

  • Trial Advocacy competition is for all Ontario law schools
  • This is held in Toronto
  • It provides students with the opportunity to formulate arguments and present their cases
  • Students participate in the Arnup Cup (pre-Sopinka Cup); the winning teams advance to the Sopinka Cup


  • Teams are comprised of two students
  • Team members will be selected via the Trial Advocacy seminar in the Fall term


  • Team members receive three graded credits for their participation, which will be applied in the Winter term
  • No additional credits are awarded if the team advances to The Sopinka Cup
  • Team members are NOT required to enroll in the Appellate Advocacy Workshop