Mock Trial Program


A student questions a witness during a mock trial competition

Program Overview

Law students interested in advancing their advocacy skills in a courtroom setting can participate in KU Law's Mock Trial Program.

Through classroom, courtroom and competition experience, students learn advanced evidence and trial techniques and participate in simulated trials. While moot court replicates the appellate setting, mock trials allow students to practice lower-court trials. They represent a party, prepare a case for trial and try the case to a jury.

KU Law offers both an in-house Mock Trial Competition course and a Mock Trial Council that represents the school in national competitions. The Mock Trial Competition course is open to students during their second and third years of law school. Members of the Mock Trial Council are selected from those students who excel in the in-house Mock Trial Competition course.

The University of Kansas Mock Trial Team also offers a mock trial experience for undergraduate students of all majors. Many KU Law Mock Trial participants got their start in undergraduate programs.

Mock Trial Program Information

The Mock Trial Competition class covers advanced topics in evidence and advanced trial techniques. The course is available during the fall semester to any student seeking the opportunity to further their trial advocacy skills in opening and closing statements, direct and cross-examination of witnesses and creating and introducing state-of-the-art trial exhibits.

Students enrolled in the 1-hour class meet weekly and compete throughout the semester for a place on the Mock Trial Council.

2021 In-House Mock Trial Competition

  • Winners: Joan Lee and Caleb Hanlon
  • Top Advocate: Caleb Hanlon

2020 In-House Mock Trial Competition

  • Best Overall Advocate: Kirstyn Dvorak
  • Top Advocate in Final Round: Rachel Simon

Members of the Mock Trial Counsel continue developing their advocacy skills while competing nationally for KU Law in mock trial competitions.

Past competitions include:

  • National Mock Trial Competition
  • All Star Bracket Challenge Mock Trial Competition
  • TYLA (Texas Young Lawyers Association) National Mock Trial Competition
  • Queens County District Attorney’s Office Mock Trial Competition
  • Buffalo-Niagara Mock Trial Competition

2021-2022 Mock Trial Council

  • Doug Bartel
  • Jamie Crabtree
  • Casey Douglas
  • Hannah Eubanks
  • Melinda Foshat
  • Caleb Hanlon
  • Linden Hoffman
  • Clay Karpowich
  • Joan Lee
  • Lauren Mangiameli
  • Braydn Monhollon
  • Jameson O'Connor
  • Heddy Pierce-Armstrong
  • Kevin Salazar
  • Grace Seger
  • Lauren Stahl

Student Testimonial: Mock Trial provides useful, practical knowledge about trial law

Jordan Kane, L'18

Jordan Kane

My Mock Trial experience gave me great context for understanding the content I was learning in my courses. Mock Trial also gave me practical knowledge about trials that most law students do not learn until their second or third year of law school.

I learned the basic structure of a trial, how to give opening and closing statements, how to question both expert and lay witnesses, how to make objections and respond to them using the Federal Rules of Evidence, and how to have proper decorum in a courtroom.

I also learned what it is like to work together with a trial team to come up with a case strategy and how to adapt my case strategy in trial when testimony that I wanted in gets excluded.

Questions?

Adam Sokoloff
Attorney, Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies
Mock Trial Faculty Coach
asokoloff@ku.edu
785-864-5333