Gordon D. Schaber Mock Trial & Moot Court Competition
About the Competitions
The Mock Trial competition simulates a trial-level proceeding in which students play the roles of pretrial counsel, prosecuting and defense attorneys, witnesses, court clerks, and bailiffs before a single presiding judge and two to three scoring judges who score individuals based on their legal arguments and presentations.
The Moot Court competition simulates an appellate-level proceeding in which students prepare and argue a case before a panel of three judges who evaluate the students on the quality and persuasiveness of their legal reasoning and presentation, as well as their unscripted responses to spontaneous questions from the bench.
Each year, unique cases are developed and presented to create powerful learning experiences on the rule of law and our judicial system. Materials are based on important issues facing America's youth. Mock Trial materials include a hypothetical criminal case (summaries of case law, witness statements, official exhibits, simplified rules of evidence) and lesson plans on the central issues in the case. Moot Court case topics engage youth in current-day dialogs that encourage critical thinking about issues our communities are facing.
With the assistance of a Teacher Coach and an Attorney Coach, the Mock Trial and Moot Court Competitions actively engage 400–500 students from approximately 28 area high schools. Students experience the excitement of working in teams, exchanging ideas, setting goals, and examining issues while interacting with positive role models from their communities. By studying the case and preparing strategies and arguments for trial, students also develop presentation skills, analytic ability, and team cooperation. A typical Mock Trial team consists of 8 to 20 students. A typical Moot Court team consists of 3 to 6 students.