How to Join

Why should you audition for UMBC Mock Trial?

UMBC Mock Trial is the most dynamic and successful academic organization on UMBC’s campus, and we go to the best tournaments in the country. In the past few years, we’ve traveled to Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Haven (Yale), Durham (Duke), Williamsburg, and so many other places. If you join, you’ll get to go somewhere new, compete in beautiful courtrooms and on gorgeous campuses, and win awards at the best tournaments on the college mock trial circuit.

In 2019, we finished 8th in our division and 13th overall at the National Championship Tournament – out of over 750 teams nationwide. We also won two invitational tournaments (Duke and Georgetown) and traveled all over the country to compete. We’re the highest ranked Mock Trial program in Maryland, and we’re ranked in the top 25 teams nationwide.

More importantly, you won’t find a more beneficial use of your time on campus than Mock Trial. If you want to go to law school, it’s the perfect place to be – our coaching staff of attorneys and program alumni will teach you how to hone your skills to be the perfect candidate. If you want to get better at debate or public speaking, Mock Trial is far and away the best place on campus to get that experience. You’ll compete several times each year and practice with coaches and experienced competitors to find your voice. Even if you’re just looking for something fun to do as a new or returning student, this is the place for you. You’ll meet your closest friends, travel with them to interesting new places, and win team and individual awards along the way.

How do our tryouts work?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re not sure yet how tryouts will work for the 2020-21 season. We’re going to have tryouts either in person or over a video platform like Zoom or Webex. Either way, you’ll sign up for a 5-7 minute time slot and we’ll give you the audition packet several days in advance. You’ll have to present an argument to us about an interesting case, and we might have a few questions for you at the end. It’s a fun, low-pressure way for us to get a sense of where you fit best in the program.

Before auditions, we’ll host several information meetings, and we strongly recommend you attend at least one of those meetings before auditioning. (They’re all the same, so you don’t need to come to more than one.) At those meetings, current team members will give you more detail on how Mock Trial works and will also offer some pointers for your audition. We’ll post the meeting Powerpoint on here too, but it’s better to get the information in person.

If you have any questions about auditions or the team, feel free to email us at umbcmocktrial@umbc.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I need to be interested in law school to join mock trial?

A. Absolutely not! Several of our members don’t plan on attending law school, and you don’t need to have any interest in law school to join the team. We are an interdisciplinary organization with members from many different majors and with diverse career goals.

Q. Do I need previous experience in Mock Trial, speech, debate, etc to join?

A. No! While prior experience is great if you have it, it is definitely not necessary to make the team or be successful. You are not at a disadvantage for tryouts if you’ve never done something like this before, and we’ll teach you everything you need to know once you join the team.

Q. What do you mean when you say you travel to competitions?

A. College Mock Trial competitions are weekend tournaments, usually over a Saturday and Sunday, with two trials on each day. We drive as far north as Connecticut (Yale), as far south as the Carolinas (Duke), and many places in-between – Columbia, Rutgers, Cornell, William & Mary, Penn State, and several others. These are great opportunities to get away from campus, see some new places, and bond with teammates through travel and trial against schools all over the country. If you’re on a competing team you’ll travel around three weekends each semester.

Q. Is there a financial barrier to joining the team or competing?

A. Definitely not. The program covers all travel costs, including flights, hotels, rental vehicles, and gas. There are no member dues. If able, members are asked to cover their meals when we travel, but we also have a system in place if you’re not able to do that. We are committed to making sure that money is never an obstacle to join the team and travel to competition.