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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

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Mock Trial

The Mock Trial program was created to help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of the bar.

Who is Mock Trial for?

Mock Trial is an excellent activity for all students who will be practicing attorneys, as it helps students develop the skills that make trial lawyers successful, such as:

  • excellent oral communication skills
  • the ability to quickly develop and articulate a logical, persuasive argument
  • an understanding of the rules of evidence

However, the Mock Trial program is not just for intended litigators. The oral communication and logical reasoning skills that are honed in mock trial will benefit all students, regardless of their post-law school plans.

How do I join?

Each fall, the Mock Trial Bar holds the Judge J. Lyles Glenn Jr. and Terrell L. Glenn Sr. Mock Trial Competition, an internal competition open to second- and third-year law students.  The top students--typically about 20-25 each year--are invited to join the team.

The competition itself consists of two teams who try a criminal or civil case against each other, with one team as the prosecution (plaintiff) and one team as the defense. Students use the Federal Rules of Evidence, along with a number of case strategies, in order to simulate an actual trial experience.

Students play both attorneys and witnesses; attorneys are responsible for direct examinations, cross examinations, openings and closings, while witnesses participate in direct examination and cross. Judges, typically local attorneys, score the each examination based on a number of criteria including content, performance, poise, and comfort in the courtroom.

First-year students at the School of Law have the opportunity to participate in the Mock Trial program, serving as witnesses, jurors, and bailiffs during the internal competition.

Members of the Mock Trial Bar often travel to regional and national competitions across the country. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.