UCCS Mock Trial
UCCS Mock Trial
Mock Trial is a course and a club that operates at UCCS and at colleges and universities nationwide. The heart of Mock Trial is simple and straightforward:
- First, students participate in a simulated trial as attorneys, witnesses, or both. Every year, the club receives a fictitious case file from the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). The case alternates between a civil and a criminal case every year. Most teams consist of six to ten members, but only six compete at any given time: 3 students will be attorneys, and 3 students will be witnesses.
- Second, students compete against each other and other schools from across the country in formal (AMTA-sponsored) and informal tournaments (scrimmages). Teams must prepare both sides of the case for every competition. Depending on how many students are involved in the club, we will have one, two, or more teams—everyone will have an opportunity to participate in formal and informal competitions.
Mock Trial is a ton of fun! We’re a great community with lots to offer. No experience is required—we’ll provide all the coaching you need for a positive, challenging experience!
Well, Mock Trial is great preparation for any career in which testifying in court is likely—it provides an opportunity to be examined and cross-examined in open court. Next, Mock Trial is superb preparation for law school and any career in law, as it focuses extensively on trial procedures, rules of evidence, and courtroom advocacy. Finally, it’s a great way to improve public speaking, reasoning and analysis skills, and thinking on your feet. Okay, one last thing: Mock Trial is great on a resume for jobs, law school, or graduate school!
How to participate?
Students can participate in different ways—as an attorney, as a witness, or as both. Furthermore, students may receive course credit by enrolling in Contemporary Trial Advocacy, or they may simply participate as a club member (no grades, but no course credit). In other words, you may take Mock Trial as a course, or you may join the club!
How often do we meet?
Our club/course generally meets once or twice a week throughout the semester. We typically scrimmage each other and other local schools in the late fall, after we’ve had lots of opportunity to review the file and practice. Local scrimmage partners include Colorado College and the Air Force Academy. “Tournament Season” begins in the spring. We compete in at least two tournaments in the spring, usually in late January and early February. These tournaments include the Boulder Battle and a regional AMTA tournament.
What about tournaments?
In a tournament, attorney and witness receives score from judges based on their performance. Our judges are real attorneys and judges (many active; many retired) with lots of courtroom experience. The team with the highest score wins! Scores are given for opening statements, direct exams, cross exams, and closing statements. Witnesses are scored on believability, ability to hold up on cross, and how well the witness connects with the jury.
Last year, despite COVID, we were able to scrimmage USAFA in the fall, participate in Boulder Battle in the spring, and compete in one official AMTA tournament. These tournaments were conducted virtually, but we’re hoping to be back in “in person” tournaments very soon!
Mock Trial Officers