Picture of the Boston Municipal Court. The 2011 northeast law school regional competition was held here.
There are many mock trial competitions in Massachusetts. The American Mock Trial Association holds a regional competition every spring for college students in Boston. While the Massachusetts Bar Association has a mock trial program for high school students. These excellent programs do a great job in giving students a solid foundation regarding trial work.
In the past years, I have been a judge for the American Mock Trial Association regional competition usually held at the Suffolk Superior Court. This year, I have had the pleasure to be an attorney coach as part of the Mass. Bar Mock for the Holliston team.
The more I am involved with these mock trial programs, the more I want to encourage people to participate. These programs give students a good idea of what trial work is about a build a good trial work foundation. Mock trial programs are more important than ever because fewer cases are going to trial. That means that young attorneys have fewer opportunities to learn and to actually try cases.
While participating in a mock trial program is not the real thing, there are many things that students can learn about real trial work. A few being the ability to analyze a case, getting to know court room procedure, learning some basic rules of evidence and understand the trial process. Like most lawyers would say, knowing where to stand, how to talk and not panicking is half the battle.
I hope this post will inspire students to participate in mock trial programs. It is a lot of work; however, the pay off can be instrumental to your future success. I myself have never competed in a mock trial program, but have found judging and coaching mock trials wonderful experiences. I would encourage all attorneys to take some time and participate.
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