Overview / Purpose of Manual

This manual is intended as a reference manual for teacher and attorney coaches of every experience level.  It is not a “how to” manual nor does it replace the competition handbook.  The suggestions and tools found throughout the manual are merely suggestions and advice from experienced teacher and attorney coaches. The various materials, tools, lesson plans, and handouts should be reviewed and selected for use with the particular Mock Trial team in mind.  For a brief overview of how to get started with a new Mock Trial team, see “Quick Start: Nuts and Bolts.”

The purpose of this manual is to provide general guidelines regarding the roles of teacher and attorney coaches in the Mock Trial program. These guidelines are not to be interpreted as rules of the competition, unless otherwise designated. As a coach, you are the best judge of the appropriate teaching methods to utilize in preparing your team for the competition. The materials provided are advisory only and should be utilized at your discretion.

Coaches should always keep in mind that the primary goal of the South Carolina Bar’s Mock Trial program is to educate young people about the law and our legal system.  Coaches should focus on excellent preparation and presentation, rather than winning or losing the case. While the work should be that of the students, coaches can assist in the areas of honing trial skills, assisting in practice rounds, and offering critiques of the students’ skills.

It is also the responsibility of all members of the coaching staff to read the competition rules, the Modified Rules of Evidence and the Code of Ethical Conduct Agreement thoroughly, to encourage student team members to do the same and to follow the letter and the spirit of the program. 

We strongly encourage all coaches to focus on the goal of participation by students rather than stressing competition in your preparations. Contributions of time and talent provided by coaches are making many experiential educational opportunities available annually to many South Carolina students. Your participation is a key element to the success of this program. You can be proud of the impact you have made on the lives of these students.


  • Quick Start: Nuts and Bolts
  • Roles and Responsibilities – Teacher Coach
  • Roles and Responsibilities – Attorney Coach
  • Mock Trial Basics
  • The Case is Here – How to Break it Down
  • Case Preparation – Dividing into Teams
  • Steps in a Mock Trial
  • Objections, Impeachment, and Hearsay
  • Timekeeping and Time Limits
  • Preparation for Competition Day
  • How to Succeed in Mock Trial
  • Forms and Resources
  • Appendix
  • Student Guide Handouts
  • Test Your Knowledge HandoutsLesson Plans
  • Activities
  • Worksheets
  • Additional Resources

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