The Mock Trial Competition

The Mock Trial competition, held every fall, provides third-year students an opportunity to develop and showcase their oral advocacy skills.  Students plan litigation strategies, prepare witnesses and conduct all elements of a civil or criminal trial. Participation in the competition is a prerequisite for participating on the National Mock Trial team during the third-year of law school.

Competition Format

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 thirty minutes to make its case, and the time can be used as the team sees fit. Teams represent 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 one trial in an evening, provide feedback to the teams, and rank them on elements of their performances.

Judging Criteria

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.


For more information, email the current chairs of the Mock Trial competition at:

Faculty Advisors

Cathy Bennett

Paul McManus