About Swarthmore Mock Trial
Interested in competing with us? We are looking for committed students who share a passion for learning about the law, public speaking and performance!
What is Mock Trial?
Mock Trial is a competitive simulation of a real trial and, at the collegiate-level, it is a team competition. Each member assumes the role of a witness, attorney or both and they work together to create a prosecution and a defense. Teams are typically formed of seven to ten members, but only three attorneys and three witnesses actively compete in each trial. Over the course of each trial, both teams deliver an opening and closing statement, call witnesses to testify, and cross-examine opposing witnesses.
The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) governs collegiate mock trial competitions. Over 300 schools nationwide compete each year, trying a single case written by AMTA with the goal of winning the AMTA National Championship Tournament, held in April. Previous cases have centered around a bribery scandal, an attempted murder, and a killer chimpanzee. Each case has interesting quirks to keep you on your toes!
Why Join Mock Trial?
Mock Trial is a great way to learn about the law and hone your public speaking skills. If you are interested in going to law school, you can get a head start on learning the rules that govern our legal system and what goes into preparing and trying a case.
Even if you are not considering law school, Mock Trial is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and start thinking on your feet. We will teach you how to analyze complex issues and defend a position on them. The Mock Trial team also provides a great opportunity to make new friends and connect with people on campus..
No matter your background in mock trial, we'd love to have you on our team!
Teams include seven to ten members and each person has the opportunity to prepare a witness and an attorney role. Don’t worry about knowing everything yet, we'll teach you the skills you need to succeed!
Each fall we hold auditions and for the fall semester, and members will compete in three unstacked teams. In the spring semester things get more competitive and we will stack members into an A, B, and C team. In both seasons we travel to different cities to compete at invitational tournaments. You’ll get to explore new cities and make friends from around the country!
2021-2022 Case Preview
Interested in competing with us next year? Here's a little preview of the case problem we'll be working on!
"The Midlands Supreme Court unanimously held that the felony-murder rule is unconstitutional and reversed Dakota Sutcliffe's conviction. The matter has been remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings. The county prosecutor's office has stated that they intend to retry Sutcliffe in a manner consistent with the Midlands Supreme Court's ruling."
More information can be found here: https://www.collegemocktrial.org/resources/case-materials/case-updates/2021-2022-criminal-case-preview