University of Minnesota Undergraduate Mock Trial Association
Who We Are
The University of Minnesota Undergraduate Mock Trial Association is a student organization that competes in intercollegiate mock trial competitions. We are a nationally recognized program currently ranked 22 out of 300+ competing Universities. Our program has qualified for nationals the past four years and placed 15th out of 48 teams at the National Championship Tournament in 2021. You can read more about our NCT performance in this article published in the MN Daily News!
UMN Mock Trial consists of three teams: Maroon, Gold and White. Throughout the fall and spring semester, our program competes in top tournaments around the country. The activity is an excellent avenue to develop public speaking, critical thinking, acting and teamwork skills. In addition, our students have the opportunity to network with legal professionals in the area and other highly motivated students. Though we spend a lot of the time competing at tournaments, we like to have fun too. When we're not traveling for a tournament, we often host events, get togethers and group meals!
How Does Mock Trial Work?
Each year, UMN Mock Trial members receive a packet of case materials from the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) and prepare a presentation of both sides of the issue. Students then travel around the state, region, and country competing against other colleges in tournaments. Tournaments are typically held in a format of four total trials spanning 2-3 days. Each trial consists of a prosecution team from one college and a defense team from another. A few minutes before each round, the team captains meet and select witnesses from a pool of possibilities, weighing the pros and cons of each option. Teams then finish last minute preparations and begin the trial. Some students perform as attorneys, and are scored on their ability to make arguments, question witnesses, and respond to changing circumstances in the trial. Other students perform as witnesses, and are responsible for bringing one of the witnesses from the case to life. As the tournament progresses, teams rise and fall in the rankings based on the scores they receive from judges. At the end of each tournament, the final standings are calculated and a winner is announced.
For more information please contact us at [email protected] or follow us on Instagram for updates @litigophers
Seeking New Members
Mock Trial has ended its competitive season for 2020-2021. Auditions for next year's competitive teams will be held in September, with information sessions to be held prior to these dates. More detailed information and an audition packet will be made available closer to try-outs. Check out our "How to Join" page for more info on our audition process. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]
We are also looking for any practicing attorneys or sitting judges who would like to volunteer in an advisory or instructional capacity to better our organization by informing our members about the facets of law or assisting their career planning.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact [email protected]