Through mock trial, participants get a hands-on opportunity
to examine legal processes and current legal issues. In addition to providing
familiarity with the law, mock trials also help students develop important
critical thinking skills and aid in the development of fundamental research,
preparation, and presentation skills.
To help prepare students for this activity, teachers call
upon lawyers, judges, law students, and other legal professionals to work with
participants on the various aspects of preparing a case and conducting a trial.
Many lawyers and judges serve as attorney-coaches and work alongside teachers
on a regular basis to provide guidance and expertise.
Since 1983, the Iowa Mock Trial Program has given thousands
of students the opportunity to get a close up look at the judicial process. The
remains among the largest in the nation, and one of very few to offer the mock
trial experience to middle school. In recent years, close to
3,500 students in grades 6-12 participated in mock trial competitions. Many
hundreds more benefited from mock trials as an in-class activity.
The Iowa Mock Trial Program offers a separate competition
for students in grades 6-8 and 9-12.
Iowa Middle School Mock
Now in it's 33rd year, the Iowa Middle School Mock Trial
Program is the largest in the nation. Each Fall, students in grades 6-8 are
presented with a challenging legal problem and set out to prepare and present
both sides of the case to a panel of volunteer lawyers and judges.
Iowa High School Mock Trial
The Iowa High School Mock Trial
Program celebrates its’ 35th year this Spring. The academic
competition, open to students in grades 9-12, presents a complex set of legal
materials for students to grapple with as they prepare to present their
arguments to panels of judges at regional and statewide tournaments.
National High School Program
Iowa was one of the founding members of the
National High School Mock Trial Championship. Since 1985, high school mock
trial state champions are eligible to compete in a national tournament. Each
year, the championship is held in a different host city.
Visit www.nationalmocktrial.org for more information on the national tournament.