Q. How is college Mock Trial different that high school Mock Trial?
There’s no need to worry if you didn’t participate in mock trial in high school. Some of our best competitors competed at the high school level while others first learned about the activity when they arrived at WashU. The most notable difference between high school and college mock trial is the presence of “extra” witnesses. In high school, most states don’t let you choose which witnesses you want to call to the stand, but in college, you (and your opponent) both get that chance. There are 8-12 witnesses in the case, and you don’t learn until a half-hour before the trial begins which witnesses will be in the round, meaning that every trial is different, and making trials more spontaneous and fun. There are also other subtle differences in time limits, the applicability of certain objections, and, for some people, the number of attorneys (3 per side in college).
Q. How long are tournaments and competitions? Who judges you?
Tournaments usually last two to three days. They are always held on weekends. During a tournament, we compete in four trials. Each trial will last a minimum of two hours and no more than three hours. We’re judged by law students, practicing attorneys, judges, and, at the National Tournament, even State Supreme Court Justices!
Q. How many people are on a team?
In competition, each team consists of up to 8 people, but contains, at a minimum, 3 attorneys, 3 witnesses, and timekeeper. It’s very common for students to play roles on both sides of the case. WUMT often sends multiple teams to tournaments so that many students are able to participate.
Q. What does the Mock Trial team do?
We work with our coaches and advisors to argue both sides of a fictitious case that is authored by the American Mock Trial Association. During competition, students act as lawyers and witness and argue both the prosecution and defense side of the case.
Q. Where do you compete?
Throughout the season, different schools will host tournaments, meaning that WUMT tends to travel. In recent years, teams have gone to Washington DC, Iowa City, Memphis, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville, Kansas City, Joliet and Orlando!