What is Mock Trial?

Last updated: September 14, 2021, at 10:12 a.m. PT

Originally published: September 3, 2021, at 11:49 a.m. PT

Student posing with Skyline High School grey sweatshirt

Contributor: Aditi Srinivasan

Hi! My name is Aditi Srinivasan and I am an incoming IB Diploma senior at Skyline High School in Sammamish, Washington. I got involved in Y Youth & Government through the Mock Trial program. As my school’s Mock Trial Vice President and Varsity Co-Captain, I teach students about courtroom proceedings, objections, and preparation for competitions hosted by the YM My fellow board members and I often spend our free time learning about objection rules and courtroom procedural nuances on Youtube and Google since our team doesn’t have a full-time coach; we then pass that knowledge on to our teammates.

I got involved with the program as early as my freshman year and throughout the years, I’ve learned to write legal speeches, think on the spot, and think creatively regarding how to approach proving a case, which is all thanks to the Y. I’ve been able to grow as a defense attorney in the courtroom, a leader within my team, and help the next set of students find their passion for public speaking.

Programs like Mock Trial are critical in our society because it’s important for our generation to be aware of the laws and regulations in society. In addition, taking part in these civics programs gives students the confidence to speak up about social issues. Especially nowadays, there are varying perspectives about gun laws, cultural diversity, women representation in the workforce and so many more topics. Training the next generation to be strong advocates can help tackle those bigger issues.

Mock Trial is not only beneficial for those who want to be lawyers or legislators, but any career. For example, I want to pursue a career in the artificial intelligence sector of computer science and whenever I pursue a project or technical internship I always consider the ethics behind the decisions we make and whether the benefits outweigh the potential risk factors when dealing with AI. And the public speaking skills come in handy when I advocate for more women representation in STEM, which is a cause I’m passionate about. These civics programs influence your critical thinking and advocacy skills regardless of the field you’re interested in.

The Y's Youth & Government Mock Trial program has definitely enabled me to be a more active citizen in my community. We are lucky to be living in a nation that has such a strong judicial system and I've been privileged to understand the intricacies of the legal system and courtroom proceedings through mock trial; this knowledge is something I will take forward when new laws are being passed. I will confidently provide my perspective on future legislation to local lawmakers, helping make our society better as a whole. 

Category: Youth Programs