Mock Trial 101

Andy Wang
Andy Wang

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Mock Trial is one of few extracurricular activities that is an actual play-by-play simulation of a real-world scenario. From top to bottom, it’s a complete reenactment of a court case within a real court room. It mimics the many facets that make up the legal system. The judge in the fictional case is a real judge; and they are instructed to run the trial with all the strict procedures of time that govern the real job.

While not as popular as other high school extracurricular activities, Mock Trial is great option for any aspiring law students. It allows students to get an early sneak peak into what a day-in-the-life of a courtroom is like. And, students also get invaluable practice with public speaking and case research.

The Structure

Just like with an actual court proceeding, Mock Trial will have two sides. There is a prosecuting side and a defending side to each case. While most of the actual case material is scripted, there is a little bit of room for improvisation. This is where with the proper research on proper cases from past trials could help increase a participant’s score.

For the most part, the case has already been decided; so winning the case it not really the primary objective of the simulation. Rather, it’s the participant’s handle of the legal procedures surrounding their case. Expertise in delivery of material will aid a participant’s score. In this sense, Mock Trial is one of the few extracurricular activities scored on delivery in public speaking, and how to convey a point within a certain confine.

Recognitions

Just like other extracurricular activities, Mock Trial awards prizes given out at the end of the simulation. As there are mock trials happening at the same time, the highest scorer for their respective positions will get an award. From prosecutor to defender to bailiff to time-keeper, there are specific awards for each position in Mock Trial.

How it Matters

For those looking to go into the field of law, Mock Trial is one of the few ways to get a sneak peak into one specific branch of it. In addition, advancing from local and national levels is a good way to boost a college application resume. With an award from a conference added, this extracurricular could be the key differentiator in an applicant’s profile, especially for any applicants interested in pre-law.

Conclusion

In the grand scheme of extracurricular activities, Mock Trial is one of the niche ones that presents value on a professional level to students. Along with just being a great way to boost a college admission portfolio, Mock Trial helps boost a student’s public speaking ability when it comes to the delivery aspect. Above all, getting feedback from a actual federal judge will provide invaluable insights to a student. Real professional advice, coupled with speaking practice, makes Mock Trial a double-hitter. It is a great activity for students to explore, and a way to gain insight into a possible career.

Questions? Let us know!