Mock Trial heads into competition season

The 2022-2023 Mock Trial Team – Ajay Chakraborty ’26

In Room 200, court is in session until 7 p.m. 

On Tuesday and Thursday late afternoons, most students are recovering from their sports practices. 

Students act as either lawyers or witnesses and the proceedings resemble that of an actual courtroom.

“We split up into two teams at the beginning of the year,” Fifth Form student leader Ben Hoyt said. “The veterans of the team are out on Team 1 because they have more experience and have more of a feel for the club. Team 2 consists of the others. Every team has roles of lawyers and witnesses.”

Mock Trial doesn’t require any experience to join. Teacher leaders Mr. Benjamin White and Mr. Jamison Maley and the experienced students train the inexperienced students as to how the club works.

“Before the case is released, we review things like court etiquette, the sequence of a trial, rules of evidence, how to write an opening statement, and how to tell a story,” Mr. White said.

One has to be confident and good at public speaking

Connor Haney ’25

Competitions soon await the Mock Trial team. The group has done very well in the past, especially in the 2021-2022 school year. In December, they will compete in scrimmages against schools like Episcopal Academy and Penn Charter. Scrimmages give teams the chance to practice against other teams before the actual competition.

In January, the team travels to the Ben Franklin Invitational Mock Trial Competition at the University of Pennsylvania. This is not exactly a competition, as it is primarily used for feedback from the judges.

In February, the team goes to district championships for Montgomery County, where they compete to go to the state competition. If the team qualifies, they will compete against the best future lawyers in the state.

“Last year, Team 2, which consisted of all new kids, was able to get all the way to the semifinals. Team 1 won districts,” Hoyt said. “Since we did so well last year as all new kids, I think winning districts should be pretty easy for us.”

The team is confident in their abilities this year. In fact, they emphasize confidence for everything in Mock Trial.

“One has to be confident and good at public speaking,” Fourth Form student leader Connor Haney said.       

Haney added that learning public speaking skills is an essential element of Mock Trial. 

“I think the best thing is becoming confident and comfortable with public speaking, “ Haney said. “You get to experience what it’s like to be a real lawyer.”