Each autumn, 30,000 high school students get ready to go to court, not because they have to, but because they want to. Students from nearly every state as well as Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands participate in mock trial.
By spring, they are ready to participate in their state or territorial mock trial competitions, with each winner qualifying to compete for the national title at the National High School Mock Trial Championship.
Mock trial challenges students to try cases drawn from real-world scenarios, in real courtrooms, under real rules of evidence and procedures, before real judges. Participation in mock trial:
- Develops basic life and leadership skills such as active listening, speaking, writing, critical thinking, and teamwork.
- Increases comprehension of the historical, ethical, and philosophical basis of our judicial system, while demystifying the law and court procedures.
- Builds bridges of natural cooperation, civility, respect, and support between students and the legal profession.
Mock Trial is the most critically demanding activity a high school student may undertake. It demands intelligence, creativity, acting skills, hard work, commitment to a team, and dedication. Students are given an opportunity to think, be authentically challenged…As Indiana’s program grows and flourishes, we will all see the inherent value and necessity of sustaining this program for our youth. I have already understood its significance in the lives and learning of my own students.— Teacher and three-year coach