Students create mock trial team

By The Elm - Nov 01,2018@12:00 am

By Nicole Noce

Elm Staff Writer

Washington College’s newly-formed Mock Trial special interest group isn’t just for pre-law students, according to freshman Vice President Zairel Luna.

“Anyone can join mock trial, it’s really just something for people who are interested in public speaking, acting, and debate. Though many opportunities arise for pre-law students, it is a great opportunity for others to find something they may become further interested in something they never thought they could,” she said.

Mock Trial teams compete in regional and national competitions against other colleges and universities arguing hypothetical legal cases.

WC’s Mock Trial was approved as a special interest group on campus during the SGA Senate meeting on Sept. 26.

Freshman and group President Holly Williams said that because Mock Trial was such an influential part of her high school experience, she decided to start a chapter at WC.

Additionally, the group will offer support for students hoping to pursue a career in law by providing them with the opportunity to refine their debating skills.

“There was no such program in place at WC for students who wanted to learn trial advocacy. While the team is open to all who are interested, it’s great to have an extracurricular option specifically for those who want to practice law,” Williams said.

Though Luna’s high school did not offer the opportunity to be part of a Mock Trial team, she has experience competing in a national elevator pitch competition, where she reached the semi-finals. She has also worked as a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women.

“I think that all of these things led me to have a passion for social justice and immigration law, and I feel like mock trial will be the best way to combine all the things that I love doing in one single club,” Luna said.

Since the SIG is just getting off the ground, there is currently only one team that can be sent to competitions. Williams hopes to be able to send a “B-team” to competitions in the future.

Due to the limited availibility of travel spots, students must first audition at tryouts to showcase their debating skills.

“Mock Trial is a highly competitive national competition, it’s important to see that students can deliver confident and persuasive arguments if they [are] attorneys, and portray a convincing character if they are a witness,” Williams said.

Though there are only 10 spots on the team, there is a possibility of opening up positions for alternate team members.

“Students who don’t make the competitive roster can still be part of the Washington College team and serve as alternates if need be,” Luna said.

Along with attending regionals, the team is hoping to plan campus fundraisers, according to Williams. The Mock Trial team will be competing at regionals this February.

Tryouts for Mock Trial occurred the week following students’ return to campus from fall break.

Students who are interested in Mock Trial but missed tryouts can reach out to Holly Williams at hwilliams3@washcoll.edu or Zairel Luna at zluna2@washcoll.edu to see if any alternate positions are still available.

The Elm

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