“Students grow and develop soft skills which will help them be successful in their lives as productive citizens. They have improved their skills in all the following areas: confidence, critical thinking, public speaking, executive functioning, reading, writing, and problem solving. They have also formed critical relationships with peers which have helped them throughout the challenges of high school.”
About Mock Trial
Mock Trial introduces Indiana students to our legal system and the judicial branch of government. Through Mock Trial, students will get a deeper understanding and appreciation of the American courts.
Taking on the roles of attorneys and witnesses, students will take an in-depth, hands-on learning and appreciation of our society’s approach to dispute resolution and justice. Students take case background information and witness statements and apply it to the law. They craft arguments, support it through testimony and physical evidence, and present it to a panel of attorneys, judges, and community members who evaluate their arguments and presentations.
Mock Trial is aligned to the Indiana Academic Standards for Social Studies and English Language Arts. Students will grow both academically and personally. Students build important 21st century life skills, including collaboration, critical thinking, leadership, and creativity. They also grow significantly in literacy skills like public speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
The Trial & Competition
Students will present both sides of the case during a trial – prosecution/plaintiff and defense. The case typically alternates between a criminal and civil case to expand the students’ understanding of both aspects of our legal system. Three trials are held at the regional level of competitions, which are typically held in February around the state. The state level typically takes place in March, with the eventual state champion representing the Hoosier State at the National High School Mock Trial Championships in the spring.
Impact of Mock Trial
Teacher, Mishawaka High School, Mishawaka, IN
“What I really like about mock trial is that it provides our students who may not enjoy other activity (sports, yearbook, etc) to participate as a team, in an activity that is educational and meaningful”
Teacher, Trinity School at Greenlawn, South Bend, IN
“They are so much more confident in and outside of the classroom. Their schoolwork and writing have improved immensely, and they have a strong supporting relationship with one another as well.”
Teacher, Early College High School, Evansville, IN