The UWF Mock Trial Team Experience engages students in high impact practice. The team allows students from all majors to participate in undergraduate mock trial competitions as part of AMTA, the American Mock Trial Association. As part of this group, students prepare cases for trial by developing opening statements, witness testimony, and closing arguments. Students compete against other undergraduate students in trial competitions across the country.
The UWF team has won numerous awards over the last several years. The Mock Trial Team helps students develop critical thinking skills, public speaking skills, and knowledge of the rules of evidence. It is an invaluable experience for students who are interested in working in the legal system as lawyers, witnesses, or paralegals.
Twenty–first century learners must know how to work collaboratively and creatively. They must also develop effective communication skills. Working on the mock trial team requires students to develop these skills.
Communication skills will be strengthened by requiring students to work with trial attorneys and high school students and to apply what they have learned on the trial team. Participation on the team also requires students to develop strong teamwork skills by working with other students on the team to develop case strategies and theories. The mock trial team requires that students master content related to the structure and function of the American jury trial system, the rules of Evidence, the rules of criminal and civil procedure, and legal ethics. But perhaps the most important reason that mock trial is transformative is that it gets students engaged in an activity that connects them to each other and to the University as they embark on shared intellectual pursuits.