Mock Trial and Beyond
Interested in mock trial beyond high school?
American Mock Trial Association (AMTA)
The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) is the sanctioning organization for undergraduate Mock Trial in the United States. Their website provides information about registration, tournaments, resources, and more about the association.
What is the difference between High School Mock Trial and College Mock Trial?
High school mock trial programs do not allow teams to choose which witnesses they call. Case-writers create six witnesses and specify which three are for the defense and which three are for the plaintiff/prosecution. In college, the case-writers develop somewhere around ten different witnesses and allow each side to choose which three of these witnesses they will call in the minutes before a trial. With this set-up, opposing sides can strategize to "steal" the witnesses that their competitor may want. For this reason, every team needs extensive back-up plans and a lot of improvisational ability. Thinking on your feet is one of the best parts of mock trial.
How people perform as witnesses also differs from high school to college. The high school mock trial program has regulations that prohibit witnesses from using costumes. In college, not only do these regulations not exist, but it is almost a requirement that every witness transform into a character that the judge will remember and like: accents, costumes, and one-liners make witnesses entertaining and fun to play.
The way roles are divided in college mock trial can differ from high school mock trial as well. In high school, there can often be as many as four lawyers on a side. In college trials, there are only three attorneys per side, so each attorney must perform a direct and cross-examination, and two attorneys give statements.