Mock Trial / NJ Bar
Mock Trial allows high school students to act out a civil or criminal trial by arguing for either the prosecution or defense against another team, which acts as the opposing side.
The process begins with the distribution of case booklet, which is provided by a New Jersey's Mock Trial Association. This case booklet contains all pertinent details about the fictional case students will be arguing for or against, including witness statements, pre-trial stipulations, exhibits, and more.
The case booklet also contains strict guidelines that teams must abide by. Every Mock Trial team in New Jersey will be arguing the same case, using only the case booklet, in order to ensure each team is competing equally.
Students then work with their team to develop cases for both the prosecution and defense; and during competition, they will have to be prepared to present both arguments. Each side will appoint students who will take on the roles of trial attorneys, witnesses, and pre-trial attorneys, in addition to one bailiff and one timekeeper. They will work together as a team to craft a strong, comprehensive, well-developed case that they will later present in competition.
All the components of the trial are strictly timed. Students must be able to think quickly on their feet and communicate their points in a direct yet effective manner. Teams will thoroughly practice and build their case for several weeks or even months before competing. This includes team practices, scrimmages, and independent work on the case. The actual competition begins with teams competing against other area schools.
Successful teams may then advance to state-level or even national-level.