What Moot Court and Mock Trial Tryouts are Like

For me, public speaking has always been something that made me very nervous. I did well in front of people but I couldn't help but get nervous and shaky before I was supposed to speak. That is why I never thought I would participate in moot court or mock trial. Not only do these activities include public speaking, but you have to think on your feet and be able to answer difficult questions about your argument. 

Although it may seem like your worst nightmare, it was one of my most helpful activities from law school. I learned more skills from moot court than I did from anything else in law school. I have finally conquered my fear of public speaking and I owe it all to my decision to try out. I thought it would be helpful to give you a good insight into what moot court/mock trial tryouts are really like (I promise they are not that scary). 



Moot Court
Moot court was a little bit more relaxed when it comes to preparation and time commitment. For our tryout we had to present an oral argument that we had previously given in our legal writing class. It was something we had already presented and had already answered questions on so there was no need to prepare extensively for these tryouts. 

When I walked in to my tryout I immediately gave my oral argument (and answered about 6 questions during the argument) which lasted about 5 minutes. Then I was asked random questions about my work experience, school experience, and some really random questions about superpowers and what I like to do for fun (just to see how I could think on my feet).

In all, the tryout took about 10 minutes and it really wasn't as scary as I had thought it would be. In addition to the tryout, I also had to fill out an application regarding my work and school experience, my preferred team, and general information.

 It took about 2 months for me to hear back. 



Mock Trial
Mock trial is a lot more intense (but also looks outstanding on a resume). At our school, mock trial team members practice 5 times per week (for around 3 hours) and participate in numerous competitions throughout the year.

 It is a huge time commitment and therefore the tryouts also required a lot more preparation. Those who were trying out had to prepare an argument and depose a witness in a rape case (they purposely made it a difficult topic). 

In the first round of arguments, students had to get the witness to say she was not raped and have a successful outcomes for the defendants. The next round of tryouts they had to come back and be the plaintiffs and try to have a successful outcome as plaintiffs. They had a little over a week to prepare for the tryouts and get familiar with the information. The tryouts lasted around 20 minutes each for each round and only 6 students made the team. 

Unlike mock trial, getting the results were much quicker (about a week). 

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