My First Experience with Mock Trial
I had never done mock trial before this year. Mock trial has been one of the best experiences of my life and has helped me to discover a field that I might want to pursue a career in: law. I have learned so much about how the field of law works, what a lawyer does, and how a court case works. I would 10/10 recommend doing mock trial, even if you aren't considering the field of law.
I have gotten to know so many people who are older than me, whom I wouldn't have met if not working with them on mock trial. These people are cool individuals that have really contributed something to my life and definitely have taught me a thing or two about law. I have had some pretty fun times with my team so far and will be sad when the mock trial season comes to a close this year.
That being said, I have a few tips for anyone else just starting out with mock trial. I am the type of person that stresses over things a lot and overprepares, but also the type of person that when I struggle with something I just don't do it until the last minute. Mock trial is a few hours of pure adrenaline after months (or weeks, depending how much of a procrastinator you are). You can prepare as much as you want to for the trial, but you need to be able to think on your feet to be successful. Prepare what you are presenting, but also study objections and read through the case in the other side's perspective so you come across the small facts that will be so significant in the trial.
I have a few other tips for how to present yourself during the case. Say everything with confidence and a conviction that you are right, even if you aren't. This will make the opposing council more likely to believe whatever you are saying and not object to it. Don't be afraid to argue with a judge as long as you are polite. Always say "Thank you" even if they don't rule in your favor. Always address them as "your honor" and make sure you are dressed in proper court attire. Dressing nicely and addressing the judge properly and politely makes you look more professional and allows your opposing council to judge you based on your actual skill, not appearance. Don't get flustered when the opposing council objects, and know the stipulations so you can fight back with things they have already agreed to. If you have no questions or points previously written down for a situation in court, make things up, You can pull statistics out of thin air if it makes your case sound more reasonable, but know the basic facts of the case so you don't look stupid.
So basically: prepare, practice, have confidence, be polite, and make stuff up when you need to. Also, shake hands with the opposing council and judges. Good luck and when people tell you to be quiet, argue with a judge, object, and never be silent.