Volunteering as a Mock Trial Judge: Fake Trial, Real Impact

Christina Thompson and John Wheeler
Students develop their critical thinking and rhetorical skills while expanding their knowledge about the state and federal legal systems.

Students develop their critical thinking and rhetorical skills while expanding their knowledge about the state and federal legal systems.

Igor Alecsander/E+ via GettyImages

Mock trial programs are prominent in almost every state in the country and many of the surrounding territories. Middle and high school students spend months during the school year preparing for regional, state, and national tournaments. They study the intricacies of trial procedure, prep direct and cross-examinations, and learn witness statements inside and out. In the process of preparing and competing, students develop their critical thinking and rhetorical skills while expanding their knowledge about the state and federal legal systems. For mock trial programs to be successful, lawyers across the country volunteer as coaches and judges of mock trial teams and competitions. 

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