Founded in Spring 2008 by a group of political science students, Auburn’s Mock Trial Competition Team has continued to grow and attract a diverse group of students who seek to gain firsthand courtroom experience. Members of the Team polish their critical and analytical faculties, improve their public speaking skills, and advance their understanding of trial advocacy techniques. Auburn’s Mock Trial team competes against other universities, arguing their interpretation of a case prepared by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA).
Auburn’s Mock Trial Team typically sends two teams to competition, both of which consist of eight to ten members. The two teams, appropriately labeled Orange and Blue, prepare and practice year-round for invitational, regional, and national competitions. These competitions generally include between 16 and 48 teams from universities across the country.
In the fall, the teams hold weekly meetings that focus on assigning the team members’ specific roles, researching the case, and learning the rules of evidence. Team members also discuss general courtroom and trial procedure. After several preliminary meetings, members begin constructing a case from the materials provided in the AMTA packet. Members acting as witnesses begin learning their affidavits and crafting their characters. Attorneys begin drafting examinations and opening and closing statements. Members generally alternate between playing witnesses and attorneys.
In the spring, the teams practices 3 or 4 nights per week for approximately 2 to 3 hours. The Orange and Blue teams scrimmage each other in practice rounds judged by prominent, local attorneys as well as local State and Federal judges. The teams also try to schedule scrimmages with teams from other universities. Team practices are run by the respective team captains and range from work on a member’s own preparation to group dress rehearsals. All members attend each practice, so that each member can provide his or her unique perspective on the important facts and legal issues to be presented at trial.
The team has won at least one award every year they have participated in the regional AMTA competition. These awards include Best Attorney, Best Witness, and Spirit of AMTA. Voted by other competing teams, the Spirit of AMTA award is given to the team that best demonstrates civility, justice and fair play.
Last Updated: May 21, 2018