The Mock Trial Competition Team Program trains students to become excellent trial lawyers by teaching them the art of persuasive advocacy in the courtroom. It also teaches them how to effectively apply the Federal Rules of Evidence in the courtroom to win pretrial motions and make appropriate objections in trial.
Each year, students compete in regional and national trial competitions where they act as trial counsel, representing a "client" through all phases of litigation, including pretrial motions, opening and closing statements, direct and cross examination. The cases cover both civil to criminal, and the trial fact patterns are often loosely based on real trials.
To be eligible to try out for the team, students must have completed their first academic school year and be a second- or third-year Day student, or a second-, third- or fourth-year Evening student. Try-outs are held at the beginning of the school year, generally during the second week of classes. Fact patterns and sign-up sheets are located in the Courtroom building.
While not permitted to try out for the Mock Trial Competition Team, all first-year students are eligible to compete in the Ben Franz First Year Mock Trial Competition. The top winners receive a scholarship and have their names embossed on a plaque displayed in the Courtroom Trophy case.
McGeorge students compete in mock trial tournaments all over the country. Team members perform as trial counsel before experienced judges and lawyers, honing their skills in oral advocacy.
Team members emerge from the Mock Trial Competition Team program as trial lawyers, ready to effectively represent clients in real cases, in real courtrooms. During competitions, our team members often win trophies as they defeat students from other schools and distinguish themselves before bench and bar. For four out of the last six years, our teams have beaten 26 other teams to emerge the Regional Champions of the National Trial Competition hosted by the Texas Young Lawyers Association.
For the 2012-2013 season, nine members of the Mock Trial Team will compete in competitions.
In the spring of students' first year, they are eligible to compete in the Ben Franz First Year Mock Trial Competition.
In advance of the competition, current trial team members hold training sessions with the first-year competitors, teaching them basic trial skills. At the actual competition students perform different phases of trial, including opening statement, direct and cross examination and closing argument before faculty members and experienced trial team coaches, the latter all former trial team members when they attended McGeorge Law school.
All students compete in the preliminary rounds. The top twenty advocates advance to the final round one week later, again performing persuasive trial advocacy in the courtroom. The top three finalists receive a scholarship and have their name permanently embossed in a plaque on display in the Courtroom Trophy case.
This first year competition is excellent preparation for trial team tryouts the following year. Students receive training and begin to acquire the skills they need to be persuasive in the courtroom and to win regional and national competitions.