10 Struggles Everyone In Mock Trial Knows
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10 Struggles Everyone In Mock Trial Knows

Pretending to be lawyers comes with a certain set of struggles normal people just don't have.

10 Struggles Everyone In Mock Trial Knows

Mock trial, if we boil it down to the basics, is really just a bunch of kids running around pretending to be the stars of a courtroom drama, but as a mocker, I can assure you there is so much more. We bond and share not only the same hotel rooms as our teammates but also the same experiences. Teams are made of inside jokes from the long road trips from one competition to the next. The mock trial community as a whole is filled with inside jokes and issues and experiences that non-mockers just don’t understand. The following # struggles are familiar to every mock star.

1. The look on someone’s face when you tell them you’ll be in court all weekend.

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Back in high school, my boyfriend casually dropped to his family that I would be in court all weekend and thus unable to attend some event. The look of utter concern and confusion says it all. It does not help when you are the defendant and go on to explain that you are only in court because your friend held a ticket booth operator at knife point at the amusement park you two used to work at. In fact, that might make it worse.

2. The excruciatingly long car rides.

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We all love our teams, but there is only so much time ten people can spend crammed into a van together before the insanity sets in. It starts out all fun and games, playing never have I ever or having singalongs to some lame pop playlist the mid-attorney found on Spotify. After hour three though, you are clawing at the windows to get fresh air while the driver repeats for the tenth time that everyone needs to stop complaining because the car isn’t stopping until you get there.

3. Having a devastatingly attractive crossing attorney/witness.

Nothing throws you quite off your game like wondering what hotel that mid-attorney or expert witness is staying at that you were flirting with at opening ceremonies while your cross examination is only just starting. We all know that mockcest, the community’s term for engaging in relationships with other mockers, is never the best idea, but seeing a stunning mocker on the opposite team just adds that bit of forbidden romance that can distract you to no end.

4. That judge that takes their job too seriously.

While it is always important to respect the judges of a round, both scoring and presiding, there are some that just take things a bit too seriously. They may make odd choices like demanding you not to move from behind counsel’s table while most every judge permits movement about the well, or maybe they insist that there is valid case law that makes your objection irrelevant even if said case law was not provided in the case materials. Maybe they knock a female attorney points for wearing a pantsuit over a skirt. They will tear you apart in comments after round.

5. That judge that does not take their job seriously enough.

This judge is usually a bored law school student that clearly does not want to spend their Saturday listening to a bunch of undergrads/high school students pretend to be lawyers. They do not listen to your flawless response to an objection and instead pick based on who seemed more confident or louder. You may notice doodles on their score sheets with vague notes unrelated to the trial. They will have very few comments after round.

6. Having a case update ruin your whole case theory.

We have all been there. That piece of evidence that seemed to go perfectly with your theory? Yeah, just kidding, we are taking that out and giving the prosecution three new pieces of evidence to even things up because apparently, the defense always needs more of a challenge to make scoring fair. That time when you could say you conveniently had seen the official accused of taking a bribe win big earlier? Yeah, you now also saw him lose big too after saying he really needed cash just before that supposed bribe.

7. Begging for extensions when your assignments are due just after a mock weekend.

I’m guilty of this. You’re guilty of this. We all are. Tournaments take a lot out of you, and the energy to complete that assignment your professor threw at the class last minute just is not there. Sure, you could take your books and try to work in the car while you listen to the closer practicing their arguments for the umpteenth time or try to work in the hotel at one in the morning when your captain finally decides the team can stop for the night. But really, let’s be honest, we would all rather grovel for a couple more days to do our best work.

8. Paying way too much for pantyhose that will rip before the weekend is over.

This one is specific for the women of mock trial, though I am sure there is a male equivalent with purchasing pricey ties that will inevitably have coffee dribbled on them or something. Pantyhose are basically some sort of dainty little tights made of the world’s least sturdy fibers, and yet they cost about $5 a pair for decent ones?! Unless you are the most gently human being on the planet, you likely just buy the cheapest multipack option and pray you don't tear through all the backups.

9. Dragging mock trial into everyday life.

Look, we all heard you yell, “Objection on the grounds of hearsay within hearsay,” when your friends started gossiping about what they heard you said at that party last Friday. Don’t deny it. We all take mock trial out of the courtroom sometimes, whether that means objecting while arguing with your significant other or bringing up oddly specific knowledge you learned as an expert witness about cranes when passing a construction site. Bonus points if you have to explain the reason why you know that the jib on the crane can help counter balance as well as provide leverage is due to the death of a fictional homeless man.

10. Waiting all summer for the new case.

The offseason is painful. Practicing old cases and learning the rules of evidence is no substitute for having a freshly printed case packet to devour before rereading and rereading it for any important details that can be spun in your favor. Luckily for us, the summer is almost over, and the case is almost here!

Despite the struggles of mock trial, I think I can speak for all mockers when we say it is completely worth it. See you this season, mock stars!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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