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Mock Trial

Abigail Townsend
Nell Callahan (’24) making a lack of foundation objection as to an expert’s final opinion

“Objection, Your Honor.” Not a common phrase for the typical high schooler to hear on a day-to-day basis, but completely regular for students on the Willow Glen High School Mock Trial team. What is mock trial you might ask? It’s a simulated courtroom where students model the roles in an actual court. The elements of a case are simplified to be acted out by the high school team.

Early in the school year students receive a case brief, the story of the case they’ll be presenting. A week later they receive a case packet. A packet that includes all the information they need to argue their case such as stipulations, exhibits, and witness statements. The team then assigns roles; the best of them get to be lawyers while smaller roles go to the newer members. After assigning roles, the lawyers write up their script and decide what information they wish to present.

The team spends a couple weeks preparing and memorizing their lines and then begin to compete in scrimmages. After getting practice from competing in small-scale scrimmages, the team moves on to compete in county competitions against other schools. The county competitions are the final competitions where students are scored on their performance. Approximately twenty schools compete and the winner will go on to represent their county in the state competition.

One of the team’s favorite activities is their annual Carmel scrimmage where the team competes in a five round tournament. There are two days of scrimmaging, and during those days the team gets to stay in a hotel, visit the town and beach, go to a dance with all the schools competing, and do some team bonding. This has been the first year in three years that the team has been able to go. Last year there were weather issues that prevented them from being able to get there safely, and the two years prior Covid kept them from going.

Mock trial is an amazing experience for students thinking of going into the field of law, they can learn about how a courtroom works and test their interest in law. This doesn’t mean that only students interested in law should try out for mock trial though, it’s for everyone. Alumnus and former member of the mock trial team Ren Pham said that joining the team is “the best decision you could make at Willow Glen!” It’s a close-knit team full of support and friendship. The team often goes out for dinner together, does homework together and stays long after scrimmages and practices are over to stay in each other’s company.

The team is extremely enthusiastic about what they do and they always urge others to join. Here’s what some team members have said:

Ren Pham (alumnus ‘23):

“Everyone is so fun and with the amount of work and effort you put into the program, you tend to get super close with everyone on your team. It was a really rewarding program and brought together such a driven yet fun and energetic team that truly made you want to learn and improve not just for yourself, but for everyone on the team!”

Nell Callahan (‘24):

“Mock trial brings together driven, talented, intelligent individuals who are incredibly fun to be around. We spend so much time together throughout the season-it’s truly a family. There’s many mock trial inside jokes and crazy memories that I’ll be grateful to have when I leave Willow glen.”

Matthew Adams (‘25):

“I get to carpool with my favorite people every weekend to compete in tournaments and go to the beach with our team after awards!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Sam Quigley (‘26):

“If you watched “Legally Blonde” and thought, “Hey, I want that Elle Woods experience” then you should definitely join Mock Trial!”

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About the Contributors
Carmen Young
Carmen Young, Activities & Athletics Editor
Abigail Townsend
Abigail Townsend, Advertising Chair

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