Guidelines for Teachers

The teacher coach is expected to help the team members decide which students will play which parts in the mock trial, and to assist the students in preparing those roles.

As part of the sizeable responsibility of acting as teacher coaches, teachers are responsible for the following areas:

  1. Rules of the Program
    All teachers and teams are expected to adhere to the procedures, rules, facts, law and all other materials provided in the Mock Trial Competition Case Materials. Please read the entire case packet before meeting with the students.
  2. Role Assignments
    Team members should be strongly encouraged to select roles based on their interests and abilities, not on the basis of any gender or cultural stereotypes which might be drawn from the characterizations in the fact pattern. Note that witnesses may be played by males or females.
  3. Team Preparation
    Although an “attorney coach” is not required, most teams have an attorney coach to help the students understand the law and procedures.  If your team cannot find an attorney coach, the MBA may be able to assist in finding your team an attorney coach. Teams should prepare both sides of the case and are strongly urged to arrange and conduct preliminary mock trials prior to meeting another school in the competition. Mock trials only require one attorney to act as the presiding judge and your attorney coach may be able to play that role or recruit another attorney to do so. 
  4. Education
    Education of students is the primary goal of the Mock Trial Competition. Healthy competition helps to achieve this goal. However, teachers are reminded of their responsibility to keep the competitive spirit at a reasonable level. The reality of the adversary system is that one party wins and the other loses, and teachers should be sure to prepare their teams to be ready to accept either outcome in a mature manner. Teachers can help prepare students for either outcome by placing the highest value on excellent preparation and presentation, rather than winning or losing the trial.
  5. Observers
    Other classes, parents, and friends of the participants are welcome at attend the trials, but keep in mind that many courts have limited seating available and may have capacity issues.
  6. Arrival times
    Teachers are responsible for getting their teams to the assigned courtroom 15 minutes prior to the starting time of the trial.