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Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction to Mock Trial

What is mock trial?

Mock trial is a trial simulation competition in which students assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses. 

Why should I participate in mock trial?

Mock trial improves public speaking, critical thinking, improvisation, and leadership.  It teaches problem solving and, because teams must represent both sides to a lawsuit, mock trial teaches the ability to analyze issues from multiple perspectives.  It’s also a lot of fun.

I’m in interested in becoming a lawyer. Does mock trial help?

Absolutely.  Mock trial teaches many of the skills and concepts that real lawyers use every day.  And in addition to the skills you develop, mock trial looks great on a college or law school application.  Students who participate in high school mock trial often go on to top universities, students who participate in college mock trial often go on to top law schools, and students who participate in law school mock trial often go on to prestigious legal careers.

I don’t want to become a lawyer. Can mock trial help me?

More than you realize.  Mock trial teaches you how to communicate, how to think quickly, how to lead and how to follow.  It teaches you to analyze complex fact patterns.  It teaches you how to persuade people you’ve never met.  These skills are useful in every occupation—and in every job interview.

Who can participate in mock trial?

Just about any student, anywhere.  Almost every state in the United States offers high school mock trial competition.  More than 400 universities compete in intercollegiate mock trial.  More than 100 law schools participate, too.


Mock trial is also one of the most demographically diverse competitions you will find.  Students of every ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, and sexual orientation participate. 

How time consuming is mock trial?

Many students get A’s in school by cramming the night before an exam.  Mock trial, though, doesn’t offer shortcuts.  Talent will only get you so far because there are always other talented opponents.  Preparation, dedication, and teamwork separate the best from the rest.  That’s what makes the competition so rewarding—you get out what you put in.

How can I become better at mock trial?

Preparation, preparation, preparation.  That’s the trial lawyer’s mantra, and it’s the recipe for mock trial success, too.  Learn the rules of your competition, study the facts of your case, understand the rules of evidence, rehearse your parts, and prepare for as many contingencies as you can.  Listen to your coaches.  Help your teammates.

How can Stand Up help me become better at mock trial?

Right now, we offer three services: the Championship Mock Trial Academy (a training camp), private consultation, and the Orange County Classic (a high school tournament).

Training Camp: The Championship Mock Trial Academy

What is the Championship Mock Trial Academy (CMTA)?

Since 2009, the Championship Mock Trial Academy (CMTA) has been teaching high school students the same techniques that have resulted in hundreds of victories.  CMTA is a two-day training seminar that covers every major mock trial skill: public speaking, pre-trial, direct and cross examination, opening and closing statements, objections, trial strategy, and more.  Most students attend with their high school teams, though you’re welcome to attend individually.

How do I know the Championship Mock Trial Academy (CMTA) is worth my time?

Our attendees have gone on to great things.  The last four California state champions previously attended CMTA.  One year, both teams in the California state finals had previously attended CMTA.  Multiple schools have won their counties after attending CMTA. 


But CMTA isn’t just for teams who routinely win their counties.  The Academy is ideal for new or inexperienced programs, as we don’t assume any prior knowledge.  We are very proud that after attending CMTA, many schools have recorded their best-ever results. 


CMTA has also received great reviews from our attendees.  More than 95 percent of students said they are glad they attended.

What makes the Championship Mock Trial Academy (CMTA) so successful?

Three things.  First, all lectures are given by Justin Bernstein, the President of the American Mock Trial Association and the youngest member of the Coaches Hall of Fame. 


Second, we believe people learn best by doing – so after every lecture, you will perform the technique you just learned in a small breakout group and receive individualized feedback. 


Third, an award-winning instructor leads every breakout group.  This is why space is limited—we only invite the best instructors, and we keep our breakout groups small.  We won’t sacrifice quality for quantity.

When and where is the Championship Mock Trial Academy (CMTA)?

In 2015, the Academies will be in October.  We're still finalizing the locations, so let us know if you're interested in hosting.  But if you live in California, there will be an Academy within a few hours' drive.

How much does it cost to attend the Championship Mock Trial Academy (CMTA)?

The cost is $195 per student, but we offer significant discounts for groups.  Please email us at for more information.

How do I sign up to attend CMTA?

Private Consulting

What is private mock trial consulting?

We work with your school’s team to get them ready for county, state, or national competition.  We tailor the session to whatever your team needs: lessons on objections, feedback on the direct examinations you’ve created, judging scrimmages and providing detailed comments, and more.

What kind of schools do you work with?

We work with everyone.  We’ve worked with national champions, state champions, county runners-up, and brand new teams.  We’ve worked with public schools and private schools.  We’ve worked with home school teams, large programs with multiple attorney-coaches, and teams preparing for invitational tournaments. 


How do we find out more information?

Beach Ball Classic

What is the Beach Ball Classic (BBC)?

The Beach Ball Classic is a mock trial tournament Irvine, California.  We aim to provide the highest quality preparation for your county and state competition.  All teams will compete using the “state case”—the California criminal case published by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.  In its first year, the Beach Ball Classic hosted 10 county champions, three state champions, and two national champions.

What makes the Beach Ball Classic (BBC) different from other tournaments?

All trials will be judged by experienced, award-winning former competitors.  You won’t find better judges—or receive more valuable feedback—anywhere. 


The BBC has four rounds.  Each team will play twice on prosecution and twice on defense.  All teams will receive immediate feedback—oral comments, written comments, and scores. 


The BBC will give out more awards to the top attorneys and witnesses.  Students deserve recognition for their excellence.


And it's called the Beach Ball Classic for a reason: on Saturday night, all students and coaches are invited to a beach-side, bonfire barbecue.

Where and when is the Beach Ball Classic?

The inaugural BBC was November 1 and 2, 2014 at UC Irvine Student Center, home to some of the most prestigious mock trial tournaments on the West Coast.  We will announce the 2015 date and location by May.

How can my school attend the Beach Ball Classic?

Space is limited, and we will give priority to teams with a track record of success.  In 2014, we hosted 10 county champions.  We also look for schools that are enthusiastic about attending -- so feel free to email us at

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