Past participants share their experiences

Judges, participants, teachers and attorneys around the commonwealth talk about the program

"I've been a judge for 25 years, and this is some of the best lawyering I have witnessed."

Hon. Roderick L. Ireland, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

“I have participated as a judge in the program for several years now and it has been a very enjoyable experience that I look forward to continuing. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect is seeing the enthusiasm, not to mention the talent level, of the student attorneys. It’s rewarding to be part of a program that gives developing citizens a truer picture of the rule of law in American society. Otherwise, they may be left with the distorted views portrayed in the popular media of what our justice system and a lawyer’s role are all about.”

Richard Van Nostrand, Esq., MBA past president, 2003-04 

"The Mock Trial Program is an effective way of extending each court into its community. It has been rewarding to see the complex cases tried in a professional, skillful and dignified manner. The give and take of arguing objections is indicative that the students have not only mastered the process but can think on their feet under pressure."

William A. McEvoy Jr., first assistant clerk-magistrate, Newton District Court

"Coaching a mock trial team is fun. It enriches my life, just as it does those of the students who participate."

James E. McGuire, Esq., Mock Trial team coach for ten years

“The Mock Trial experience is one that cannot be duplicated in a classroom setting. The program helps to connect students to each other, helps to build their confidence and draws out talents previously unrecognized by the students themselves.”

— Jerry Howland, headmaster of Another Course to College, a Boston public high school that regularly fields a Mock Trial team

"The consistent participation among the students, increasingly experienced coaching and terrific dedication of the teams produce wonderful trials year after year. I'm continually amazed at how these students do and how well they completely grasp the materials. I find that even with the increasing complexity of issues presented in each year's case, the students continue to exhibit outstanding talent."

— Arthur J. Carakatsane, Esq., Mock Trial Committee member and volunteer judge

"I graduated high school this past year, and spent the summer doing an internship with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston. Within a week of starting at the DA's office, I developed a completely new appreciation for the high school mock trial program and the wonderful opportunities it afforded me. Because of my experiences with mock trial, I was more familiar with the Massachusetts case law on many legal issues than most of the law students, and even some of the lawyers, with whom I was working.

I also worked at the Suffolk Superior Courthouse in the First Criminal Session and the Grand Jury , and the knowledge I acquired of rules of evidence and criminal procedure through the mock trial program was an incredible asset for me.

Although even before my summer experiences I knew mock trial was the greatest thing of which I have ever been a part, immersing myself in the "real world" of law for the past few months made me realize what an immeasurable advantage the mock trial program gives students like me who are passionate about the law. Mock Trial allowed me to realize my passion for the practice of law. It has been a fantastic springboard for me and my future in the legal profession. I know that no matter what I end up doing or what area of the law I choose to pursue, I will be in a courtroom somewhere using the skills I first developed through the Mock Trial program, and I will know that in some crucial and fundamental way, everything I go on to do started with this."

— Sarah Chervinsky, four-year member of the Newton North Mock Trial Team, 1999-2003

"Mock Trial is not really about who wins or loses. The aim of Mock Trial aim is to provide each student with a chance to grow as an individual – to grow as someone who is able to work with and support others, as an informed citizen who understands our legal system, and as a future leader who will use those skills to improve the lives of others in his or her community. These goals are achieved when each student participates at any level of the program. That is why I am proud to say that every student who takes part in Mock Trial is a winner."

— Carol A.G. DiMento, MBA past president, 2001-02

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association