Q. How is college Mock Trial different from 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 can 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 trials more spontaneous and fun. There are also subtle differences in time limits, objections, and, depending on what state you competed in, the number of attorneys (three per side in college).
Q. How long are tournaments? Who judges you?
Tournaments last two to three days and are always held on weekends. During a tournament, we compete in four trials. Each trial will last between two and 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?
Each team consists of up to eight people, but contains, at a minimum, three attorneys and three witnesses. 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 to prepare both sides of a fictitious legal case that is authored by the American Mock Trial Association. During a competition, students act as attorneys and witnesses and argue both the prosecution/plaintiff and defense sides of the case.
Q. Where do you compete?
Throughout the season, different schools will host tournaments, meaning WUMT tends to travel. In recent years, teams have gone to Washington D.C., Iowa City, Memphis, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville, Kansas City, Joliet, and Orlando!