The Mock Trial program is designed to introduce students to our legal system by providing a challenging, academic competition. The program offers students an opportunity for personal growth and achievement, emphasizing the importance of research, presentation, and teamwork.
In addition to teaching students about contemporary public issues and the legal system, the program encourages teachers and students to develop learning partnerships with professionals from the community. Lawyers from communities throughout Iowa contribute their time as coaches and judges at the tournaments. Judges from Iowa's District Courts also participate. These linkages between the schools and the legal profession show students that the community is committed to their educational success.
Two schools compete in each mock trial contest. One school represents the plaintiff/prosecution and one school represents the defense. Mock trial competitions are judged on two areas. Legal professionals acting as judges will first judge the trial on the merits of the case. Did the plaintiff/prosecution meet the "burden of proof"? Next, teams are judged on "performance points". How well did the students accurately portray attorneys and witnesses? A team is declared the winner based on their performance points total. Regional Finalists advance to the Iowa State Mock Trial Tournament. The state winner advances to the National Mock Trial Championships.
Mock Trial is available in the Perry Community School District for high school students. Practice sessions and scrimmages are scheduled at Perry High School and the Carnegie Library.