Hundreds of high school students from across the state will join in Little Rock February 21-22 for the annual Arkansas High School Mock Trial Competition. Students will have the opportunity to act as lawyers and witnesses in simulated trials before actual judges and attorneys. The winning team will then go on to represent Arkansas at the national Mock Trial Competition in Madison, WI May 9-10.
Competitions will be held at the Pulaski County Courthouse and the U.S. Federal Courthouse. Fifteen consecutive trials will occur at the same time for each round, until the finals. The first round of competition takes place on Friday, February 21 at 2:30 p.m. The competition continues on Saturday, February 22 with the first round at 8 a.m., the second round at 12:30 p.m. and the final round at 4:30 p.m. The final round of competition will be held at the U.S. Federal Courthouse.
This year’s Mock Trial case is a criminal case involving aggravated assault. There will be three preliminary rounds of competition and a fourth and final round with the top two teams competing. Each team competing in the event is guaranteed three rounds of competition, win or lose.
Each team competing must be prepared to try both sides of the case and are bound by certain time limits. Teams can consist of 6-9 students in grades 9-12. There are currently 30 teams registered for the competition, making it the largest in the state’s history. There will be over 100 attorneys and judges scoring the competitions. Lawyers volunteer to assist students as team advisors, scorekeepers and tournament coordinators.
Spectators are welcome and invited to attend any round of the competition at no charge. Spectators are asked to check in with registration.
Special thanks to the ArkBar Mock Trial Committee, Greater Little Rock Legal Support Professionals, Arkansas Bar Association, Arkansas Bar Foundation, Craighead County Community Foundation and the Arkansas Bar Association’s annual sponsors.
For more information on the Arkansas High School Mock Trial Competition, follow us on Twitter @ArkBarMT.