What We Do: It is our responsibility to interpret, formulate, and argue a legal case from a given fact pattern. Every year, the American Mock Trial Association releases a fictional case that we must find a way to argue from both the defense and prosecution standpoint. Mock Trial competitions consist of presenting a complete legal case, including opening statements, closing arguments, and three witness testimonies per side. Each element of the case is scored by judges.
We travel all over the country to compete against other schools in weekend-long tournaments. In the fall, teams attend at least one invitational tournament in the northeast. During the winter term, Dartmouth teams attend a Regional competition. Our strong showings at Regional competitions have routinely earned us spots in Spring National competitions across the country. In the past, Dartmouth has sent teams to as many as five tournaments per year.
Team Roles: All new members and freshmen are automatically placed on a team with other freshmen and two senior officers. Members have the freedom to choose between playing a prosecution attorney, defense attorney, or a whole slew of different witnesses. Roles can also be mixed and matched.
Helpful Skills: There is truly a place in Mock Trial for everyone! Outgoing, argumentative people like to play the roles of lawyers, while those who like to invent characters and personalities tend to enjoy witness roles. Theatrical talents are always a plus. Even those with a passion for science can participate as expert witnesses. We’re open and flexible as to what roles and skills new members want to bring to the table.
Freshman & New Member Roles: Unlike other schools where freshmen simply assist the senior team members, every freshman member immediately gets placed on a team and gets to pick multiple roles. New members will be competing in October and later in the winter, so there is plenty to learn in a short period of time. We’ll have practice trials and team workshops, and the senior members are there to help at every step.
Time Commitment: New members are making a commitment to both an organization and a team of your new peers. We ask that everyone who joins stick with it throughout the term. The time commitment ranges from 4 to 6 hours per week, with one or two recurring team meetings and a practice trial every weekend. We’re happy to work with everyone’s schedule, but we ask that new members approach the organization with the same commitment and enthusiasm that older members consistently show.
Andrea R. Baer ’13, President
Benjamin E. Chuchla ’13, Vice President
Atul P. Vaidyanathan ’14, Vice President
Courtney M. Kelly ’15, Treasurer
Katherine M. Thorstad ’14, Secretary