Mock Trial

Mock Trial is an innovative, engaging and often life-changing civic education program that combines performance-based, law-related education with tournament-style, academic competition. High school students, working in teams under the guidance of volunteer attorney coaches and teachers, analyze the facts of a hypothetical criminal court case, prepare trial strategy and enact every role in the trial proceedings, as members of either the prosecution or defense. The teams present their cases in real courtrooms before sitting judges and are scored by volunteer attorneys. Over 900 high school students from 40 local high schools annually participate in the Mock Trial program that also includes courtroom art and journalism contests.

Students develop an understanding of and appreciation for the American judicial system, the rule of law and their rights and responsibilities as citizens. The program builds self-confidence and develops important life skills, including critical thinking, analytical reasoning, effective communication and teamwork. Students learn the importance of following rules and a code of ethics. Importantly, they are provided with the unique opportunity to interact one-on-one with positive adult role models, including prominent legal practitioners.

If you are interested in starting a Mock Trial team at your high school, you are encouraged to review the “Frequently Asked Questions” and contact Program Manager Theresa Bernard.

CRF-OC is an official county coordinator of the California Mock Trial program that is part of the national high school mock trial program. CRF-OC does not promote or endorse external mock trial competitions and tournaments.

2020-2021 Orange County High School Mock Trial Champion – University High School


Notice Regarding 2021-2022 Mock Trial Season

CRF-OC received word from the Orange County Superior Court that we are unable to hold an in-person competition at the courthouse for the November preliminary rounds. CRF-OC will proceed with a virtual competition through Zoom. We will make an announcement about the status of the playoff rounds in January 2022.

Volunteer for Mock Trial

CRF-OC needs several volunteer judges and attorneys to assist with the mock trial competition. Further information about the competition can be found in the sidebar under “Other Resources.”

Judges– Participate in one or more rounds of competition, presiding over the trial and rating the performance of students

Attorney Scorers– Participate in one or more rounds of competition, observing the trial and rating the performance of students

Attorney Coaches – Assist teachers and help students plan the strategy for their case, advise them on points of law and provide instruction about courtroom procedures. If you are interested in coaching a team, please fill out the interest form below. CRF-OC staff will contact you if there is a need within your preferred region.

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