A case for Mock Trial


Mr. Miller instructs his students during a Mock Trial meeting

After school, Mr. Miller leads the members of Mock Trial a they gather around desks, eagerly waiting for the club to begin. Some members are talking, filling the room with conversations, while others are quietly seated, waiting for the last few people to trickle in. The desks are arranged in a neat formation resembling a real courtroom. Soon, history teacher Robert Snidman and Miller head to the front of the classroom and the club begins.

Mock Trial is a club where students get to perform trials and face off in a real court scenario. They witness first-hand what a trial feels like and how it operates. Competition starts in January and February, and the students are currently working on making their cases. When they need help, they can go to Miller or Snidman, the coaches of Mock Trial.

“As a coach, I fill in all the paperwork and get our team going,” Miller said. “I help students build their cases for competition.”

Though it’s not the most well known club, Snidman and Miller are trying their best to make the club grow. They are doing their best by recruiting people such as in the history classes they teach.

“I took Snidman’s AP Government class during junior year, he talked about Mock Trial at the beginning of the year and how it was a good idea to join,” senior Sam Hiken said. “I joined because of the argumentative aspect of Mock Trial and combined with the fact that it has a real world implication considering that it takes place in a real courtroom and you act as a lawyer, it appealed to me.”

Many students became interested with Mock Trial because of different reasons. For some, Mock Trial resembles Speech and Debate, a huge club at school.

“I started Mock Trial because I did debate in all my years in high school,” senior Cassie Beisheim said. “I have come to find that I want to be a lawyer in the future or at least go to law school, so I joined Mock Trial this year after hearing Mr. Snidman talk about it.”

The club started in early fall. Ever since, they have been busy getting ready for competition later in the school year, January and February.

“We have set up our teams and planned out our specific roles,” Beisheim said. “We have written out our direct examinations, cross examinations, opening statements and closing statements. We have started to do practice rounds.”

The Mock Trial team plan on competing after winter break. From freshman to seniors, everyone is finishing up their cases and practicing for the competition.

“Next semester, we plan on going to tournaments at the Saint Louis County Courthouse in Clayton,” Hiken said. “So far we have been practicing, doing scrimmages and trials.”

As competition season nears, members are feeling all sorts of emotions, ranging from nervousness to excitement. They look back on all the hard work they poured into the club and all the benefits they received since joining Mock Trial.

“Mock Trial is a really effective way for students who want to pursue a career in law in the future,” Beisheim said. “I feel the competition is exciting and it’s a great life skill that people can develop in high school, and I think Mock Trial will help everyone develop it.”