The Middle School Mock Trial (MSMT) Program is a hands-on exercise in learning about due process. It is a team activity program that is most often conducted as an extracurricular activity, but can also incorporated into law, forensics or public speaking classes. Private schools, home school groups and community groups are welcome and encouraged to participate. Students representing attorneys and witnesses for both sides of a fictional case role play that case being tried in court. The students are guided in their case through support of their teacher and attorney coaches. The program teaches the legal process and trial procedure.
Through participation in the mock trial program, students will increase basic skills such as listening, speaking, writing, reading and problem analysis. Each participating school enters a team sponsored by a teacher volunteer that is ideally composed of between six and 16 students, but can have more students filling alternate roles. Teams try a fictional case against other teams at regional competitions in the fall of each year. The top two teams from each regional competition advance to the state championship in December.
The South Carolina Bar Law Related Education (LRE) Division offers training for new teacher and attorney coaches every summer in preparation for the fall competition.The trainings are not mandatory for teams to be eligible to compete, but they do assist in preparation for a strong and organized team. At the training, teachers are provided with an outline of middle school mock trial guidelines, hands-on activities, videos, mock trial classroom instructional materials and a question/answer session with attorney coaches and mock trial teachers.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation and so many school districts not allowing after school activities such as sports and band in the fall, we are hopeful that after school activities will return January 2021. Should that happen, we are planning for Virtual Middle School and High School Mock Trial competitions to take place on the same days in the spring. When looking at the dates, also notice there are multiple competition days due to adapting to a virtual format.
While middle school and high school teams will be competing on the same day, they will be competing in their own level of competition. Both levels will use the same case this year, which will be released August 14, 2020.
Registration will open August 10, 2020. New zoom teacher trainings and the coaches’ manual will be available mid-September in addition to an awareness session on what a Virtual Mock Trial Competition via Zoom will look like.
Students and coaches will be required to set up a free Zoom account to compete. Students may compete individually from their home, or compete as a team at the school depending on the technology available to each student.
Awards and Scholarships
Beyond Middle School Mock Trial
Coaches Manual for Attorneys and Teachers
Correlations to the Standards
Results - Professionalism and Civility Awards
Results - Regional
Results - State
In Person Sample Schedules
Virtual Sample Schedules
Effectiveness and Incentives
Handbook (Rules and Resources)
Important Program Dates
Overview of New Rules - Virtual Year
Prior Middle School Mock Trial Cases
Registration for Competition
Scrimmage Board for Mock Trial Teams
Social Media Tool Kit
Training Dates and Webinar Access for Coaches
Videos for Coaches and Students