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Mock Trial: Not Just for Future Lawyers

The phrase “Mock Trial” often evokes images of barristers’ robes, judges’ wigs, and law textbooks. Often, students envisage the activity as a natural stepping stone into a career in law.

Although Mock Trial can lead students to pursue careers in the legal profession, it is by no means the only reason you should consider participating in the activity. Mock Trial can be relevant to a myriad of different professions and goals because of its emphasis on a wide variety of practical skills and talents. Some of these skills include:

  • Public speaking

  • Thinking on your feet

  • Argumentation techniques

  • Critical thinking

  • Acting and performance art

Because of the broad-based nature of the skills learned in Mock Trial, it can be applied in almost any career path or educational endeavor.

Another aspect of Mock Trial which is often overlooked is the fact that Mock Trial attorneys only account for half the total available points in a round (excluding the opening and closing statements). The other half of the total points available in a round is awarded to students who portray the witnesses involved in a case. Witnesses in past year Mock Trial cases have included characters as varied as Hollywood stars, scuba diving experts, and amusement park ride operators.

Witnesses are encouraged to develop accents, quirky character traits, and interesting backstories to engage judges in their rounds. On direct examination, they are evaluated on their ability to present facts from their witness statements credibly and coherently. On cross examinations, they are forced to blunt the attacks made by opposing attorneys based on their mastery of the facts presented within their statements.

All in all, there’s a lot more to Mock Trial than just a pre-law educational experience—so whether you’re an aspiring physician, thespian, or banking professional, Mock Trial can offer valuable tools for you to succeed in the real world!

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