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Department of Communication Studies

Mock Trial

Check out The Collegian's article about our team's first public mock trial!
Interested? Contact the team by emailing Advisor Daralyn Arata, Head Coach Ben Long or Club President Sarah Peterson

What is mock trial?

Mock trial offers an opportunity for aspiring attorneys to form teams and prepare to try cases against universities from across the country. Teams are made up of 6-8 students, who take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses in the trial. Teams argue both sides of the case several times during each tournament, and the same case is used for the entire competitive season (the fall semester).

A complex case is released by the American Mock Trial Association each year. Students get to design their own case theory and choose which witnesses to call and pieces of evidence to introduce.  

Mock trial is a great activity for preparing students to think critically, communicate effectively, and work in a team. Law schools hold mock trial participation in high regard, and participants have a competitive edge once they start law school. Participants also receive academic credit (COMM 460: Advanced Trial Advocacy).

K-State's mock trial team is a subsidiary of the Legal Communication Program, a major in the Department of Communication Studies. Students do not have to be majors to participate. 

How can I get involved with K-State's mock trial team?

To join the team you must first join the K-State Mock Trial Club. The Mock Trial Club meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 in Nichols Hall room 311. All students are welcome to attend club meetings. Currently there are two competition teams, Varsity and Junior Varsity. The competition teams travel to tournaments in and out of state throughout the year. 

Even though I'm not competing, is there anything I can do now?

Absolutely. The K-State Mock Trial Club is open to any student interested in legal communication. You do not have to be a team member to belong to the club, and you can take part in all our non-competitive activities. Contact Club President Sarah Peterson or Coach Ben Long for more info.

Anything else I should know?

Mock trial is a great activity for anyone interested in law school, even if you don't plan on being a litigator! It shows admissions committees you understand how to think critically, create arguments, and read and write persuasively. Mock trial students have a definite edge.

If you enjoy these classes, consider a major in Communication Studies (our Legal Communication emphasis). Communication is a critical part of everything an attorney does - including interviewing clients, negotiating, working in a team, and speaking persuasively. Understanding how communication works will be a plus for any attorney, no matter the setting or specialty.