Mock Trial is the sport for kids who don’t usually play sports. Mock Trial gives students a chance to be competitive, and showcase their talents without having to run around or shoot a ball.
I decided to try out for Mock Trial as a freshman even though I didn’t know anything about it. For the tryout you could either memorize a witness statement or write a persuasive essay. Then the coaches, who are actual attorneys, would ask you questions from the witness statement, or you had to present the essay you had written. I decided I was going to try out for a witness, and then spent most of the weekend reading over the witness statement so I had it memorized.
The tryouts were on a Monday night and I was a bundle of nerves. My mom dropped me off at Mercy and then I walked into the library where two Mock Trial coaches were seated. They proceeded to cross-examine me about the witness statement, and I attempted to answer the questions as best as I could. Then the tryout was over and they told me to check blackboard in a couple of days to see what part I got.
Every day I checked blackboard a couple of times to see if they had posted the Mock Trial list. On what felt like my hundredth visit to blackboard the list was finally posted. I was Doctor Jamie Lawrence who was an expert witness. An expert witness is someone whose opinion is taken into higher consideration because of their level of education.
The practices were every Monday night from 6-9, and even though they were a lot of work they were still so much fun. I grew very close to the all the girls on the team, and the coaches were very funny. I learned so much about the actual legal process. For example I learned that Legally Blonde is not a good representation of what happens in a courtroom.
Around Christmas break we scrimmaged the Elder Mock Trial team, and it was a great learning experience. I had grown very confident in answering questions from Mercy girls that were acting as attorneys, but it is very different when you’re getting questioned about your witness statement from someone you don’t know.
After the Elder scrimmage there is the UC competition, which starts on a Saturday morning in January and goes throughout the whole day. In the competition we went against Summit Country Day. When the day is over they give awards to Outstanding Witnesses and Attorneys, and I received an Outstanding Witness Award along with three other Mercy girls who also received awards.
There is also a competition in the Hamilton County Courthouse, which determines whether or not you will advance onto the state competition in Columbus. Sadly neither Mercy team advanced. In Mock Trial both sides have to win to let the team advance, so even though one of Mercy’s team came in second place both sides didn’t win so they didn’t advance.
Mock Trial has given me confidence when public speaking, because now I don’t get nervous. Also Mock Trial helps you become more detail oriented, because you have to focus on every question that someone asks you. I can say that trying out for Mock Trial was one of the best things I have done, because of the confidence I have gained.
Here are some of my teammates’ thoughts on their experience in Mock Trial.
“What I love about Mock Trial is that it is mentally challenging, but at the same time you are having a blast.”-Megan Ross ’17
“I always come back from practice with new knowledge, either about law as a whole, or about the individual case we are working on.”-Megan Spraul’16
“Other people should do Mock Trial because it would help prepare them for the real world.”-Alex Stevens ’17
Pictured below from left to right are Becca Rhein’15, Megan Ross’17, Olivia Mullen’17, and Grace Garbsch’18 holding their awards from the UC Mock Trial competition.