After four exhilarating—and exhausting—rounds of competition on April 18-19, we have our results. The ballots have been counted and the results have been tallied. We had openings early Saturday morning and a closing late Sunday evening. In between, witnesses wore raptor costumes, lawyers argued about the color of wristbands, and coffee was consumed at a volume dangerous to human health. The 2015 HKISMTC is over.
But what about 2016?
No matter how you did this year—whether you won the tournament or left empty handed—every teams record is 0-0 for the 2016 tournament. Here are some things you can do right now to help ensure you engrave your schools name on the traveling trophy next year!
Form a school club: The best teams are those that stick together throughout the year. It will be a lot easier to do so if you make mock trial a year round school activity. Get a teacher advisor and start setting regular meetings. Besides mock trial, you could use this club to organize legal education events and debates. This will enable you to recruit top talent from your school for the team. It also won’t hurt the college resume.
Figure out the rules of evidence: When the case materials for next year are released, you will be flooded with new affidavits, exhibits, and case laws. Now is your opportunity to really focus on the rules of evidence. Learn rule numbers. Figure out how to interpret character evidence. Finally make some sense of the hearsay rules. Teams that master objections win tournaments. Also, they get to shout “OBJECTION!” quite often, which is fun.
Set up scrimmages: It’s not rocket science—the best way to get better at mock trial is to do more mock trial! You can find sample cases online with simple internet searches or reuse old cases from past tournaments. Use these materials to conduct inter-squad scrimmages. These low-pressure trials will give you a chance to refine your skills. For an added challenge, see if you can get another school team to meet you for a mid-year showdown!