Wisconsin Lawyer: Volunteer Options: Get Involved in Mock Trial:

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    Volunteer Options: Get Involved in Mock Trial

    The annual Mock Trial Tournament is run with assistance from hundreds of volunteer lawyers, judges, and coordinators in communities statewide. The time commitment for volunteer opportunities ranges from a half day to several months to a few minutes to pledge monetary support.


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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 81, No. 2, February 2008

    Volunteer Options; Get Involved in Mock Trial

    The annual Mock Trial Tournament is run with assistance from hundreds of volunteer lawyers, judges, and coordinators in communities statewide. The time commitment for volunteer opportunities ranges from a half day to several months to a few minutes to pledge monetary support.

    Attorney coaches. Coaching can begin as early as September and end in early spring. Students work with their teachers and volunteer attorney coaches, to research, study, and prepare a hypothetical courtroom trial. Case materials, prepared by the State Bar of Wisconsin's Law-related Education Committee, involve issues that are interesting and important to young people.

    Teams comprise three witnesses and three attorneys on each side of the case. Teams may have as many as 12 students; however, only six students may participate in any given trial. Working with their coaches, the students use the case problem provided for the competition - a statement of facts, legal authorities and rules, affidavits and/or exhibits to help prepare opening statements, and to formulate direct and cross-examinations and closing arguments.

    Judges. Hundreds of attorneys and judges are needed in Madison for a half-day or full-day commitment during one weekend in February to judge the regional tournament and one Sunday in March to judge the state tournament. The state competition culminates with two teams presenting before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and the winning team advances to the national competition in May.

    The cases are presented before panels of judges and attorneys that evaluate the teams on their demonstrated knowledge and presentation skills, rather than on the legal merits of the issue at hand. During mock trial rounds, volunteer lawyers and judges evaluate the teams based on the students' familiarity with the case and formulation of their arguments.

    Volunteers are still needed for the March 16 state competition. Volunteers are needed in Madison on Sunday, March 16, to judge the state tournament. Volunteer lawyers and judges will evaluate the teams based on the students' familiarity with the case and formulation of their arguments. The top two teams will advance to compete before the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday, March 17.

    To volunteer, please contact State Bar LRE Coordinator Dee Runaas at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6191, or (608) 250-6191.




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