Mock Trial

Definition - What does Mock Trial mean?

A mock trial is a program or activity that allows students to learn about the law and legal processes. They do so by participating in simulated trials that are usually based on real cases.

Although it mimics everything that happened at the real trial, a mock trial features condensed versions of those procedures. Another key difference between a mock trial and other programs is that a mock trial only simulates trials held in lower courts.

Justipedia explains Mock Trial

Numerous organizations throughout the United States hold mock trial activities and competitions.

For example, the Constitutional Rights Foundation has been coordinating mock trial competitions in California since 1980. In this particular program, thousands of students from more than 30 counties annually tackle imaginary criminal cases involving relevant, contemporary issues. In addition to teachers, judges and attorneys volunteer their time to facilitate the program.

The Classroom Law Project coordinates a similar program in Oregon, and the New York State Bar Association co-sponsors mock trial competitions for thousands of students each year. Nationally, the American Mock Trial Association coordinates competitions for college and university students in more than 350 schools.

In addition to the law and courtroom procedure, participants in these programs learn valuable life skills such as public speaking as well as critical and analytical thinking.

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