Mock trial is an intercollegiate activity that combines speech, theatre, and debate. Established in 2006, Cornell's mock trial program gives students the chance to develop a better understanding of the courtroom process and the American legal system. The primary objectives of Cornell’s mock trial program are to enhance each student’s critical thinking, analysis of logic, and public speaking skills in a competitive and collegial environment.
The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) provides a different case each year, alternating between a civil and a criminal case. Mock trial teams consist of six to eight students and each student is given an attorney and/or witness roles for each case. Students selected to compete at mock trial tournaments will present two plaintiff/prosecution and defense cases to a tournament judge. Tournaments are held in the fall and continue into the middle of the spring.
Participation in the mock trial program is open to all Cornell students, regardless of academic major or prior mock trial experience.
Cornell College has historically hosted the Marcus D. Pohlmann Mock Trial Invitational in the fall, or one of the AMTA Regional Tournaments in February.