Mock trial is an imitation trial used to teach and develop techniques and theories to be used in real trials. Mock trial is an activity that usually appeals to pre-law or acting/drama majors, but anyone can participate.
Every year college students anxiously wait for a new case to be presented by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), and each team has about six months to prepare their case and present it at regionals – the first official competition. In their preparation, they must develop a strong case theory for both the defense and the plaintiff/prosecution, create compelling witnesses, and brush up on all the rules of evidence.
Mock trial also gives students the opportunity to strengthen their public speaking and critical thinking skills. Both of those skills are very important in whatever field you choose to go in to. Mock trial is an incredible experience and if you are a fellow mocker, you will be able to relate to all of these #MockTrialProblems
1. Mock Trial takes up all of your free time.
Each case contains so much information and if you don’t practice every other day – if not every day – then you aren’t going to be prepared in time for regionals.
2. You probably have started to use legal terms in your everyday life.
In the endless hours of preparation, you have suddenly forgotten how to speak like a normal college student. You will find yourself saying “Objection ________!” or “Sustained!” in your everyday conversations. Everyone around you may not understand it but you do and that’s all that matters.
3. If you aren’t using legal terms out loud, you definitely are using them in your head!
You are sitting in class listening to your professor when suddenly you find yourself making up your own arguments and/or rebuttals in your head. Doing this is perfectly fine in the world of mock trial but anywhere else it becomes a distraction and will lead you astray.
4. You own more professional clothing than your friends not on Mock Trial.
Blazers? Check! Pencil skirts? Check! Slacks? Check! Heels? Check! If you are on a mock trial team these items are a must! However, you don’t just own these items you live in these items. You have probably gotten so accustomed to having to wear these that you actually are beginning to love the business and professional look. The plus side to this is that unlike your peers, you will never have to worry about not having an outfit for an unexpected interview or job opening because you already have everything you need!
5. You get flashbacks to middle school when you have to pass notes to one another during a trial.
Everyone knows that you have to be completely silent during trial if you aren’t on the stand or conducting a direct or cross-examination, but sometimes an amazing idea pops into your head and you must share it with your co-council. You break out the notepad and scribble away having a silent conversation about how to crush opposing council and destroy their argument. Even if you are a witness, you still know everything about the case so you too have found yourself passing notes to your fellow teammates.
6. You hear “Objection Hearsay!” way too much.
No matter what the rules say, you will hear the hearsay objection at least twice every witness. “Your honor, this document contains hearsay under the Midlands Rules of Evidence 801 D2...” This objection is heard so often that the only rules you have memorized are the ones against hearsay.
7. Case changes can literally ruin your entire case.
There are always a number of changes that are made to the case through the year, however, most of those are minor and have little to no effect on your case theory. Then, right before regionals, there is one last case change that ruins everything. Now you have less than a month to come up with a new theory and rewrite all your questions and opening/closing arguments.
8. We all know who Sawyer Shaw and Riley Winter are and what TBD is.
You, like me, have spent these last six months developing these characters and their stories. You also know who Kirby Doolittle is, along with Sky Martin, Vic Fogel, Cary Kramer, Bobbie Lin, and Adrian Edwards. If you don’t know who any of these people are, you’re definitely not a mocker.
If you have ever been a part of a mock trial team you know how true all of these things are. You also know that your team is your family and that even with all the work and time that mock trial takes up, you wouldn't go back and change any of it. Once a mocker, always a mocker.