February 21, 2017 Articles

The Many Benefits of Mock Trial

Concrete suggestions for maximizing the benefits of mock trials.

By Kate E. Hart, Juanita DeLoach, Ph.D., and Lora A. Brzezynski

Performing a mock trial offers multiple benefits, whether the mock is a general competition or is specific to your upcoming trial. Mock trial offers attorneys an opportunity to overcome nerves and hone trial skills before a supportive audience. Participation forces you to think on your feet and construct persuasive arguments and examinations in a limited period of time. While participation can be time-consuming, demanding, and even frustrating, the constructive criticism provided regarding your presentation skills and the impact of a key point on your jury may heavily influence your trial strategy or presentation. In this article, we provide insights derived from personal experiences either participating in or coaching a mock trial, and we encourage you to seek a rewarding and challenging mock trial experience for yourself.

Using Mock Trial to Your Advantage
For young litigators, transactional attorneys, and expert witnesses, mock trial is a valuable public-speaking experience. Even if you have a wealth of experience with your case, topic, or materials, a confident and competent presentation is vital. For some individuals, this comes easily, but more practice allows for polish and further development of a personal style that works for both you and your audience. Even if you have taken dozens of cases to trial, a mock trial experience can be used to prepare for a specific trial to test the strengths and weaknesses in your facts, legal arguments, and overall presentation.

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