The 3L Mock Trial Competition, held each fall, provides third-year students with an opportunity to conduct all elements of a civil or criminal trial. Participation in the competition is a prerequisite for participating in the National Mock Trial team during the third year of law school. The subject matter of the hypothetical trial alternates annually between civil and criminal law.
Each team of two students presents an opening statement, conducts direct and cross examinations of witnesses, and concludes with a closing argument. Each team has forty minutes to make its case. The forty minutes can be used as the team sees fit. Teams alternate arguing for the plaintiff and defendant or prosecution and defense each round. After a series of weekly elimination rounds, the event culminates in a final round between two teams.
Role of Attorney-Judges:
Judges preside over two rounds of argument in an evening, provide feedback to the teams, and rank them on elements of their performances.
Teams are evaluated on their ability to present legally persuasive arguments on opening and closing, to elicit helpful testimony from witnesses, and to manage time effectively.