|Q: What is Mock Trial?
A: Mock Trial is a competitive activity designed to teach students courtroom and trial techniques used in litigation. Each year, the American Mock Trial Association creates a fictitious case for middle schools to prepare for competition. It is from this case that students assume roles of attorneys and/or witnesses and compete in a "mock" trial moderated by judges. Through this hands-on experience, students gain a vivid picture of typical trial protocol, stages, and techniques. Students are critiqued based on their understanding and practice of standard forms of litigation, such as opening statements, direct and cross examination of witnesses, objections, and closing arguments.
Q: Why participate in Mock Trial?
A: Participation in mock trial provides students with a unique way to improve their understanding of the court system, trial techniques, and argumentation. More importantly, mock trial improves students' ability to think critically, argue effectively, present ideas clearly, and adapt quickly. The experience that mock trial offers students is as equally valuable as the skills and knowledge they gain. By working with a team of highly-motivated and hard-working individuals, students build unique relationships and friendships that could not be formed in a less intense environment.
Although students from a wide-range of disciplines actively participate in mock trial, the experience is especially beneficial to those students interested in attending law school. Most law school admission counselors recognize a student's participation in mock trial as a substantial commitment to legal education. Furthermore, students with a mock trial background gain an advantage in law school because the skills emphasized in mock trial are the same skills that second-year law students study in a Trial Advocacy class.
Finally, and most importantly, competitions are A LOT OF FUN!!!
Q: What are the requirements to join the FMS Mock Trial Team?
A: There are no "concrete" requirements to apply. The FMSMock Trial Team strongly encourages students from all grades and diverse backgrounds to try out. Early each fall semester, interested students may attend informational sessions where they can pick up an application and sign up for an interview. However, sought-out applicants generally have a willingness to work hard, a passion to learn, and a desire to succeed.