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Mock Trial

What is Mock Trial?
Mock Trial is an academic competition. Each school’s team prepares for a simulated criminal trial, including witnesses who must know the facts of their witness statement, trial attorneys who must prepare direct & cross examination questions, pretrial attorneys who argue constitutional issues relevant to the trial, and even the court bailiff.
During competition season, one school’s Prosecution will argue their case against another school’s Defense. In San Mateo County, we have the privilege of using the official courthouse in Redwood City, so our students get as authentic a trial experience as possible.
The facts and statements of the case are written each year by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, which also oversees the State Finals, where each county’s winning school participates in each March.
Why join NDB’s Mock Trial Team?
In true attorney fashion, let me give you three arguments for joining us on Mock Trial:
1) There’s a role for everyone.
  • Interested in debate, logic, and hypothetical questions? A Pretrial Attorney does that all the time.
  • Imagine yourself grilling a witness on cross examination or delivering a powerful closing argument? Trial Attorney sounds right for you.
  • Have a flair for the dramatic? Love playing a character and maybe doing a little bit of improv? Witnesses are the star of their moment, and the best ones always make the most of it.
  • Or maybe you just want to ease into it a little bit, with a role like a Bailiff or a Clerk.
Whatever your passion or interest, Mock Trial has a spot for you. At NDB, we proudly have both Varsity and JV Mock Trial teams, so no one who wants to participate is ever left out.
2) You’re going to learn a lot.
Mock Trial isn’t just about understanding how a trial works (though we do cover that.) It’s also a great way to develop and practice important skills, such as critical thinking, analytical reasoning, public speaking, presentation strategies, and above all else, self-confidence. We don’t just compete to win, we compete to learn and grow too. Students who stick with Mock Trial finish high school having developed soft skills faster and more deeply than they would have otherwise.
3) It’s fun!
Like all the best teams, whether athletic or academic, the students of Mock Trial develop more than skills—we develop inside jokes, friendships, and memories that last long beyond their final appearance in court. Win or lose, it’s about coming together and working for each other.