Student Life Archives (2001-2008)

Mock Trial wins bid to national tournament

The Washington University Mock Trial team continued their strong season by placing fifth in the Marilyn Butler Mock Trial Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, and winning a bid to nationals this April.

“We’ve done well for many years. Our program is one of the [best] in the country. We’ve always had at least one team in the top National Tournament,” said Warren Davis, the faculty manager for the team. “Several people have done this for four years. It’s like lettering in football for four years.”

The team has also recently garnered success from two of its award-winning members: freshman Diana Dickinson won an award for being a top witness and sophomore Maggy Randels won an award for being a top attorney on the regional level.

The time spent at Mock Trial practice can range from six hours to 15 hours per week, depending on whether there are any upcoming tournaments.

But all the Mock Trial Team members said the large time commitment was worth it.

“I enjoy traveling to the different tournaments with all the people. I did Mock Trial in high school, but collegiate Mock Trial is really different because there’s a lot more preparation and hard work. We practice so much together that it becomes a family atmosphere,” said Dickinson.

Since the team spends so much time together, Davis says his favorite part of managing Mock Trial is the team bonding and the lifelong skills he learns as part of the team.

“It hones one’s ability to organize and synthesize quickly. You learn to really think on your feet and react to things quickly,” said Davis.

Mock Trial President Brandon Harper, a junior, also said that the large amount of time devoted to Mock Trial will help prepare members for their future professional endeavors.

“We get to develop speaking skills, along with public presentation, critical reading, people skills,” said Harper. “All of those will be used as you get older. We also have a lot of really good, talented competitors. We enjoy being together, and we get to travel around to different states.”

Sophomore Caitlyn Clarke said she likes the reality of the competitions.

“I think that Mock Trial is close to advocacy. The objections are real, the rules are real and the cases are based on actual cases,” said Clarke.

Two of the University’s Mock Trial teams will be competing in Columbia, Mo. this weekend.

The University Mock Trial members said they are confident for the tournament this weekend and for Nationals in April.

“Wash. U.’s definitely the team to beat,” said Clarke.

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