Volunteer Involvement & Needs
The Mock Trial Program depends on the generous support of
hundreds of volunteers. It is estimated that 2,300 volunteer hours
were donated this past year by judges and attorneys recruited by
the Massachusetts Bar Association.
The project works in collaboration with the Administrative
Office of the Trial Court. Trials take place in District Courts
across the commonwealth beginning in late January. Actual District
Court judges judged many cases. Judges' secretaries and clerk
magistrates devoted significant time in helping to schedule trials
and secure judges when necessary.
Role of a mock trial judge
With nearly 200 trials being held over the course of six weeks,
there is an ongoing demand for attorneys with trial experience to
judge a case or two. Judging involves a minimal time commitment -
only the time it takes you to familiarize yourself with the case,
bench memorandum and the official mock trial rules and the actual
two-hour trial. As previously mentioned, trials are held in
courthouses throughout the state, so it is likely one will be
convenient for you.
Role of an attorney coach
The preparation phase of the program is intended to be a
cooperative effort of students, teacher-coach and attorney-coach.
Attorney-coaches help students understand general trial practices
and the sequence of events in a trial, listen to students' approach
to the assigned case, discuss general strategies as well as raising
key questions regarding trial enactment, and discuss the realities
of the courtroom situation, that is, that each judge will conduct
the trial differently.
While the competition does not begin until February, most
schools wish to begin preparing for their trials in early November.
Attorney-coaches will work out the details of meeting times/places
with their team. If you are not sure whether your local high school
is involved in the program and you want to get them involved, you
may want to contact them directly. All teams must be registered by
Sign up to coach or judge
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please call the
Mock Trial staff at (617) 338-0570 or e-mail Mock Trial.