The Missouri High School Mock Trial Competition is one of the largest and most established programs of its type in the nation. Coordinated by the Saint Louis Bar Foundation, it is our only statewide law-related education (LRE) program. It serves over 600 students from more than 65 high schools throughout Missouri.
Because mock trials are structured like real courtroom trials and follow the same rules and procedures, students learn first-hand how the legal system works and what role judges, lawyers, juries, and witnesses play in the court system. This increased understanding helps students develop a deeper appreciation for our justice system and the administration of justice.
Local Mock Trial teams are composed of more than 600 leading students from our high schools, and supported by more than 400 attorney volunteers. Local competition begins in January. Regional competitions start in February, followed by a state-wide tournament in March. The state champion then advances to the national tournament. Nearly 100 percent of participating students go on to college and many onto law school or other post-graduate degree programs. In 2009, one student was awarded a full scholarship due to their participation in the mock trial program.
Mock Trial teams consist of eight to 12 students who, with the help of a teacher coaches and volunteer attorney coaches, learn about the legal process and trial procedure by arguing a case written especially for the competition by a volunteer lawyer.
Truman High School Mock Trial 2016 Winners
The benefits of mock trial participation extend far beyond the competition itself. Students develop skills that can be applied throughout their school, years into their later career and personal lives—they acquire the ability to analyze, interpret and organize facts. They learn the importance of reading, writing, researching and listening; In addition to the art of advocacy, persuasion and questioning.
Mock Trial participation promotes critical thinking, poise, self-confidence and respect for our legal system and those who have chosen it as a profession.
We view the education of young people as the primary goal of our mock trial program. And healthy competition helps achieve this goal. As preparations begin for this year´s tournament, the Bar Foundation is busy recruiting the best professional teachers and volunteer lawyers to work individually with students.
The Missouri High School Mock Trial Competition gives students an opportunity to work together with school administrators, teachers and legal professionals, as well as students from different schools, backgrounds and ethnicities. Students are encouraged to view the event as a fun and exciting learning experience.
Rockhurst High School Mock Trial Team 2016 Second Place