Rebecca Cassel-Siskind ’26
Did you do Model UN in high school? Do you enjoy watching reality court TV shows? If you said yes to either of those questions, you should check out the Mock Trial Club right here at Trinity!
A mock trial is a simulated trial, usually conducted as a teaching exercise or an extracurricular activity, in which participants act out the roles of attorneys, witnesses, jurors, and other court personnel. The goal is to provide students with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the legal process, as well as to practice public speaking and critical thinking skills. Each year, the American Mock Trial Association presents clubs with one hypothetical trial to closely analyze, work through, and, once the school’s argument is finalized, argue against other schools’ opposing arguments. Throughout the school year, teams travel to other colleges to compete in a tournament.
I interviewed Mock Trial member Julia Deluca ’26 to hear her thoughts, advice, and experiences in the club. “We travel roughly two to three times per semester to different colleges on the East Coast to compete, but if we qualify for regionals or nationals, we’ll travel further.” Deluca went on to explain that among the team, participants are divided as defense or prosecution in order to form an argument, and they compete against the opposite side at other schools. When Deluca was asked about the level of commitment that the club requires, she responded, “It is typically three meetings a week, two hours each meeting. But often meetings are added when we get closer to a tournament. There is some work that you have to do outside of the meetings, but only one to two hours per week, consisting of things like memorizing witness statements, practicing lawyer questions, and other general memorization.”
Mock Trial is excellent for Trinity students who are interested in going to law school, have experience in a court, or practice in public speaking. If you are a political science or public policy and law major, this club may be the perfect fit! Prior experience in Mock Trial or a law-focused major is not a prerequisite to join, a piqued interest in law is all you need! If you like watching court TV shows and enjoy public speaking or debate— or even acting—this may be the club for you. Deluca gives us insight into the process and provides advice to those who may want to join, “The whole admissions process takes place in the fall. There are informational meetings, one tryout, and a callback. I would advise applicants to practice enunciating, be well rehearsed, practice their speech to themselves, and be prepared to think on the fly.” Trinity has had solid success with Mock Trial in the past and has a great team community, according to Deluca. “It is a small team with only thirteen people, which gives a nice close-knit group that is extremely welcoming. It’s a great way to meet friends because you already have a shared interest. I’ve been given great advice not only about Mock Trial related things but also about things outside of the club.” If Mock Trial sounds like something that you would be interested in, contact club presidents Allison Rau (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Reagan Flynn (email@example.com) to learn more!