The newly founded Mock Trial Team at Southeastern University is seeking students who are looking to build their public speaking and debate skills. They will be hosting tryouts at the beginning of the spring 2018-2019 semester.
The Mock Trial Team at Southeastern University was founded by Lauren Lewis and Christiana Lafferty in October 2017. Lewis said it was borne out of a classroom experience. The team has the mission of teaching students how to correctly advocate for others in court. In an interview Lewis explained “I am a Social Work major and I took a Social Work Policy Class where we learned about different laws and how those laws impact people’s everyday lives. I had such a passion for speaking and advocating for people’s rights. It was kind of born from those two passions. I want to teach people how to speak in court properly.”
The Mock Trial team competes with other teams all across the nation. The team is handed a realistic criminal or civil case as well as a client to represent. They then compete with other teams by defending their case in front of a jury and a real judge. Teams are judged on their ability to present and argue the side of their case. Even if a team loses a case, they could still win the competition for how well they execute their case during the trial.
Students trying out for the team will be emailed a well known case to research. The students will then take a stance on the prosecution’s or defense's side and present it on their clients behalf. The students will also be asked questions to help determine their critical thinking skills.
Sophomore Daniel Ramos has already been through the interview process and currently sits on the team. He said, “I was given scenarios and asked questions about how I proceed in a court, then I was asked to choose a side and present a case.”
Members of the team hope that the experience will benefit them outside of the college experience.
Sophomore Alexis Soldo is a Political Science and Legal Studies major who currently sits on the Mock Trial Team.
Sophomore on the team Alexis Soldo states, “It will help me develop professional skills I can use in the courtroom and I’m excited to begin competing.”
The Mock Trial Team has chosen to take the time to build their skills before entering their first competition. They will attend their first competition in Spring 2020.