Mock Trial Team Inspires Friendly Competition

Team co-captain Kathleen Wallace ‘23, said mock trial team members lift each other up no matter a mock trial’s outcome.
two people in business attire
Shown, from left, are University of Scranton mock trial team co-captains Kathleen Wallace ‘23 and Skyler Pozo ‘23.

By: Gabriella Petti ’24, student correspondent 

On any given Tuesday or Thursday evening at Hyland Hall, students serve as attorneys and witnesses and follow typical court case process as part of the University of Scranton Mock Trial team, according to co-captain Kathleen Wallace ‘23.

The philosophy and theology major from Bowie Maryland, shown above, left, said the team travels to  various university campuses that host invitational and regional competitions, and last year the team progressed to the Opening Round Champion Series (ORCS) competition hosted in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"Our team competes against other college mock trial teams, presenting one side of a criminal or civil case designed by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). A trial involves opening statements, direct and cross examinations of witnesses, and closing arguments."

Not on a pre-law track? No problem. Wallace said that students whose interests range from trial law to acting might enjoy participating. More information about the association is available at 

Q: Why did you join the Mock Trial team?
"After participating in mock trial all through high school, I knew I would want to join Scranton’s mock trial team my first year. Since joining, I have loved both the added challenge of collegiate mock trial and the supportive, fun team!"

Q: Can you explain the different roles on the team?
"Team members compete as attorneys or witnesses, with some team members competing as both attorneys and witnesses for different trials. Attorneys present speeches, ask questions of their own witnesses and opposing witnesses, and make and respond to objections. An attorney role requires critical thinking, excellent public speaking, and knowledge of the rules of evidence and the case materials. Witnesses tell their story connected to the case, answering questions asked by their own attorney and an opposing attorney. A witness role requires crafting a likable persona, quick thinking, clear presentation, and knowledge of their character and the case material."

Q: What roles have you filled on the team?
"I have competed as both a prosecution and defense attorney giving closing arguments, and I’ve occasionally been a witness. The past two years I also served as a co-captain of our team!"

Q: What does a case typically look like?
"A case involves a criminal charge or civil complaint, where a defendant is accused of some wrongdoing. In each case, there are numerous witnesses to choose from to call in trial that offer helpful evidence for both sides. This year, our case was a negligence lawsuit about a plane crash. Recent cases have ranged from arson to aggravated manslaughter. In one case, a parent was accused of poisoning their future daughter-in-law during her wedding!"

Q: When and where do you practice?
"We usually practice Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. in Hyland Hall. Before competitions, we meet more often for longer practices to prepare."

Q: Where does the team compete?
"We compete at various university campuses hosting invitational and regional competitions. We travel for the competition weekend and stay at hotels near the host campus! Sometimes, we host one-day scrimmages on our campus."

Q: Who would you recommend join the team?
"I would recommend joining the mock trial team if your interests range from trial law to acting! You certainly do not have to be pre-law to join the team. As long as you enjoy public speaking and are invested in the team, you’ll enjoy your experience!"

Q: What is the best part of Scranton's mock trial team?
"The best part of Scranton’s Mock Trial team is the support we show one another. We are always ready to help each other excel, and no matter a trial’s outcome we lift each other up. We’re a competitive team (we progressed to the Opening Round Champion Series (ORCS) competition in Ohio last year!) that also cares about having fun and enjoying the experience together."

Q: What has been your favorite part about mock trial?
"It’s so hard to choose a favorite part of competing because I love everything from objection battles to catching a witness on cross examination, but I think my favorite part is presenting my closing argument. Nothing beats commanding the courtroom while presenting the evidence your team successfully revealed throughout the trial."

Q: What is your most memorable moment from your time on the team?
"My most memorable moment from my time with our team was the closing ceremonies in Cincinnati, Ohio at ORCS. I felt so proud of how well our team did and felt so thankful to be friends with such awesome teammates."


mock-trial-team_2201.jpgMembers of the University of Scranton Mock Trial team, shown, meet Tuesdays and Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Hyland Hall. Last year they progressed to the Opening Round Champion Series (ORCS) competition in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Club: University of Scranton Mock Trial Team

Connect: @uofscrantonmocktrial


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