In Minnesota, high school Mock Trial is sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association. MNSBA support for this competition is grounded in its belief that the program accomplishes many important objectives:
“The Minnesota High School Mock Trial Program is an exciting law-related education program that introduces students to the American legal system and provides a challenging opportunity for personal growth and achievement. Mock trial is an activity in which students learn the principles of trial advocacy and then apply those principles as they try a fictitious case. Aside from getting a jump on college, law school and a career as a lawyer, involvement in mock trial fosters increased self-confidence, improved analytical and speaking skills and the ability to work well with others – not to mention it’s a lot of fun. As anyone who’s been involved with mock trial will tell you, it is addictive.”
West Lutheran students participating in Mock Trial learn how to conduct a trial from start to finish. They are trained in how to plan, draft, and present opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, and closing arguments. Mock Trial also teaches students how to argue objections intelligently, as well as how to handle various courtroom procedures like entering an exhibit into evidence and impeaching a witness. Aside from the technical aspects of trial advocacy, students learn how to think creatively when dealing with matters of trial strategy. Students who participate in mock trial programs often describe them as the best experiences they have had in school.