This site was created to assist high school Mock Trial coaches in starting and maintaining teams, to help students learn public speaking and advocacy skills skills, and to further Mock Trial competitions at regional, state and national tournaments throughout the United States.  The strategies, lesson plans, and work templates herein are also intended as a resource for teachers to use in their classroom.

1875 engraving by D. H. Friston of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury at the Royalty Theater

Mock Trial is a high school and collegiate competition in which teams from different schools try cases against one other. The competition is held throughout the United States in state and federal courthouses, colleges, and universities. Judges, attorneys and educators volunteer their skill, time and energy to make this competition possible.

Why Join s Mock Trial Team?

Legal historians do seem to agree that the gavel, as a tool in the courtroom, was developed primarily in the American judicial system. Introduced in the late 17th century it quickly spread to be a common element in the court by the early quarter of the 18th century.

It’s fun!

It’s a team sport with great people!

It involves healthy competition in an academic setting!

It is inclusive for everyone!

Gain proficiency in public speaking!

Gain confidence!

Gain a deeper understanding of our legal system!

Learn to read and listen more effectively!

Learn critical thinking and public speaking skills!

Learn how to better collaborate with others!

Explore whether you might want to be a trial attorney!

Looks good on your college resume!

You can be a witness actor without the commitment of theater!

You’ll learn to be a powerful advocate for others and yourself!

About This Site

Polk County Courthouse, Dallas, Oregon, 1900

Website Designer

  Dennis Gerl

  • Currently the Mock Trial Coach for South Eugene High School
  • High School Mock Trial Coach (10 + years)
  • Previous Regional Coordinator for the Classroom Law Project
  • Previous Chair of Lane County Bar Community Law Education Committee
  • Mediator (currently)
  • Civil Litigation Attorney (retired, active pro bono)
  • Secondary School Educator (retired)
  • J.D., University of Oregon
  • M.Ed., University of Oregon
  • M.Ed. Capstone Project:  Using Relational Models to Teach Higher Thinking Skills
  • B.A. Philosophy,  U.C.S.B

Why this site was created

Starting new Mock Trial teams, and maintaining existing teams, is a challenge for many schools.  A few schools are lucky enough to be able to offer Mock Trial classes, however, most Mock Trial  teams operate as clubs that meet after school.  These clubs depend on volunteer attorneys whose time is limited. 

The site is intend to help coaches and teams overcome this difficulty by offering readily available educational material, lesson plans, tips, work templates, and resource links. 

The site is also intended for students who want to learn mock trial skills at both the high school and collegiate levels, and have a readily available resource of work templates, educational material and videos to draw on.  Many students transfer the work templates on this site to google docs and work collaboratively from there. 

The site is also intended for teachers, who can use the educational material, lesson plans, templates and resource links in the classroom to help students develop public speaking and trial skills, and, hopefully, to gain a greater understanding, appreciation and interest in our legal system. 

Over the years, due to budgetary issues, many school have found the size of their social studies departments deceasing and public speaking classes, which used to be routinely offered, are now rare.  It is my hope that the web site will not only contribute to the furtherance of Mock Trial competitions, but will also help students learn critical thinking and public speaking skills that they can then use in their lives.

Thank you to the many wonderful teachers, attorneys, judges, and coaches I have worked with.  Thank you also for those who have shared their insight and material with me over the years, including Stan Paulic, Robert Emond and Drew Moneke.

If you found the information helpful, donations to keep it up and running are appreciated. 

Feel free to contact me if you have any ideas as to how to make the site better, or perhaps have lesson plans of your own that you would like to share.