About Us

What Is Mock Trial?

Mock trial is an intercollegiate competition where teams craft a case with the given case materials of that year. In order to craft their case, teams think of case theories, opening statements, closing statements, direct examinations and cross examinations of witnesses. The teams are scored each round based on overall performance, and the team with the highest score at the end of each round wins!


Attorneys are the competitors that will draft opening statements, closing statements, and cross examinations. In order to make these, attorneys reference the files of the yearly case to prepare arguments that are persuasive and compelling. Successful attorneys must be captivating speakers, have incredible courtroom presence, be diligent in crafting materials, and thoughtful in potential counterarguments from attorneys on the other side.


Witnesses are the competitors that will portray the characters assigned in the yearly case files. They do this through a series of prepared direct examinations and off-the-cuff cross examination responses to the other side’s questions. Successful witnesses must be able to portray a convincing character, respond to cross examination questions methodically, and draft a realistic direct examination alongside their directing attorneys. Actors or actresses are especially successful at mock trial tournaments as witnesses, but no prior experience is required.


The University of Rochester team travels to other schools in order to compete in various annual Mock Trial tournaments. At these tournaments, the teams have the chance to compete against other schools and receive feedback from judges on all aspects of the case. The teams will then use this feedback as they prepare for the upper level competitions such as AMTA Regionals, ORCS, and nationals.


Even outside of the practices, competitions, and case discussions, members of the team spend a lot of time together. From the frequent dining hall stops, to the occasional card games, social events, and anything in between, our members love to spend time together. If you decide to join mock trial, not only will you be joining a competitive team, but you will be joining a closely-knit community of incredible friends.