How do I join?
Thank you for your interest in St. Olaf’s Mock Trial program! While there are no try-outs (yay!), we do require regular attendance at practices. To learn more about the St. Olaf Mock Trial program, you can find us at the fall/spring co-curricular fair. You can also sign up to our email alias or contact the leadership team from the “Contact Us” page.
What is the time commitment like?
Our competition season is from September to March. We have two practices each week (4 hours/per week). However, it is common for attorney-witness pairs to meet outside regular practices as well. For example, in the weeks leading up to regionals, our teams usually meet three or more times a week.
Is it free?
All members pay a flat, yearly due. These dues help us cover the cost of transportation, hotels, and AMTA fees. If you have any questions or concerns about dues, feel free to reach out to leadership.
Do I need prior mock trial experience?
No you do not! Whether you are a seasoned mocker, or just beginning your mock trial career, all are welcome. Though mock trial can be a bit of a learning curve for newbies, it is definitely doable and we will teach you everything you need to know.
How do competitions work? Where do we compete?
Mock trial competitions consist of four trials (rounds). At each trial, a team is assigned to represent either the prosecution/plaintiff or the defense. Teams are scored based on attorney and witness performances and presentation skills. Rounds are usually judged by real-life judges and lawyers, as well as law school students, and professors. St. Olaf Mock Trial competes at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa), Hamline University (St. Paul), and St. Thomas University (Minneapolis).
Is everyone interested in becoming a lawyer?
No! One of the biggest misconceptions about Mock Trial is that everyone wants to become a lawyer or is interested in pursuing a career in law. While mock trial is a wonderful stepping stone into the law field, it is also a great place for perfecting your public speaking and presentation skills. In past years, some of the majors we’ve had include history, economics, political science, theatre, music education, and exercise science. Fun fact: the biggest overlapping co-curricular for our members is Swing Club.
Is collegiate mock trial similar to high school mock trial?
Overall, high school and collegiate mock trial are similar. However, there are a few differences. The AMTA Rules of Evidence are more complex than the ones used in high school mock. Opening and closing arguments are longer in college mock. Unlike high school mock, in college mock, some witnesses can be called by either the prosecution or defense.