High school students have heard of clubs or sports such as basketball, football, or speech and debate, in which people participate in competitions to ultimately reach 1st place. But when asking regular students what Mock Trial is, some have not even heard of the club. Although it is not as well known as conventional classes or clubs, it is certainly beneficial for students. On November 15, Valencia High School headed out to the Mock Trial competitions, working months beforehand to prepare for these tournaments.
But what exactly is Mock Trial? Mock Trial is exactly what the name suggests: An imitation court trial. The concept somewhat replicates the experiences in an actual trial, having students take on roles as witnesses, attorneys, a bailiff, a clerk, and more. Although the real-life trial is slightly different from a mock trial, the overall concept is the same between the two. This allows students to learn about the court-system and teaches these students the responsibilities of being a citizen. In addition, each round is held at an actual courthouse, making the atmosphere like an actual trial. Throughout each tournament, there are also very experienced judges giving advice on how to improve.
People may ask, “What if I don’t want to be an attorney?” Although Mock Trial is a great stepping stone to learning law, it does not need to be the case. Students in this program can learn public speaking skills, which is proven to be drastically important in the work force. In addition, these students can learn analytical skills which allows them to think on their feet and articulate responses quickly. For example, pre-trial attorneys must respond to the judge’s questions quickly, in order to maximize the amount of points for the team to win.
Because of these benefits, many students in Valencia High School have participated in the ongoing Mock Trial tournaments. Students and coaches alike have worked hard to prepare for this competition, working months before to prepare material necessary for victory.