What is Mock Trial?
UAlbany Mock Trial is one of the most successful student-run organizations in the nation. Our teams compete in intercollegiate mock trials that include scrimmages, invitationals, and the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). Our members develop experiential trial skills that include persuasive writing, critical thinking, public speaking, and performance. Newly created in 2015, UAlbany Mock Trial has already won two bids to AMTA’s Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) and boasts a number of students who have received outstanding attorney and witness awards at invitationals, Regionals, and ORCS.
Each year, AMTA sponsors regional and national-level competitions, providing alternating criminal and civil cases that take place in the fictional state of Midlands. Teams of ten pose as lawyers and witnesses for prosecution (criminal) or plaintiff (civil) and defense. Teams participate in three-hour trials over four rounds per competition. In each trial, prosecution/plaintiff and defense teams deliver opening statements, conduct direct and cross examinations of witnesses, and conclude with closing arguments. Approximately 700 teams from over 400 universities and colleges compete in AMTA's tournaments.
Being part of Mock Trial requires passion, drive, dedication, commitment, endurance, and a desire to succeed at the highest level of competition.
Every year, experienced student and faculty coaches train teams to craft effective opening statements and closing arguments, prepare witness examinations, and showcase our trial and performance skills for high scores by judges in order to rank at competitions. Practice makes perfect, and our teams travel near and far to attend collegiate invitationals and AMTA-sanctioned competitions to sharpen their trial skills.
Every member on the Mock Trial team has an impact on its success. Mock Trial’s success is largely due to its members’ collaboration and teamwork. Seasoned mock-ers work with newer members on the fundamentals of mock trial: how to build a case for trial, tell a story, craft persuasive arguments, and develop public speaking and performance skills.
When you join Mock Trial, you become part of a diverse and inclusive club that encourages the growth of life-long friendships on and off the team. When we aren’t preparing, practicing, and competing, we stay at Dippikill (a 1000-acre wilderness retreat owned by the University at Albany’s Student Association), host banquets, have game nights, and just hang out!