Mock Trial is a program created by the Massachusetts Bar Association, in which high school students participate in a courtroom simulation competition. There, they assume the roles of witnesses or lawyers to argue a case that has been presented to them (the gender of these roles do not matter, and they can be played by anyone who wishes to do so).
These Mock Trial competitions are usually held in real-life courtrooms, but due to the pandemic, schools have been hosting these events themselves. The Mock Trial program is open to all high schools—both public and private—throughout Massachusetts, bringing together students who otherwise might not have met.
Concord Academy’s Mock Trial program is participating in the 2023 tournament this year, debating the case of “Barri/Barry Jacob v. Caborite Aircraft Inc.” In the case, students argue whether a stunt plane’s crash was caused by a pilot error or a mechanical failure. CA’s Mock Trial program has taken part in three trials thus far. In these trials, a point system determines which team wins the competition. However, teams can also win on the basis of merit, which is decided by how each team presents their argument and what facts they are able to include in it. The CA team lost their first trial against Westford Academy, won their second against Chelmsford High School on the basis of merit, and lost their final trial against Burlington High School.
In recent years, the CA Mock Trial program has struggled to meet regularly, especially during the pandemic. This year, however, they have been meeting every Tuesday morning. as well as on Sunday evenings. The club was able to raise almost two thousand dollars at Club Expo. The head of Mock Trial, Grace B. Kalere ’24, has worked hard to bring back the club to the CA community. “I’m glad the club is up and running, and that the underclassmen who have joined [Mock Trial] can finally experience what I never got to experience,” said Grace.
Mock Trial not only includes educational benefits, but also allows students to form close bonds with their co-counsel (fellow team members), similar to the way in which athletes connect with their teammates while practicing and traveling together. When asked about his favorite part of Mock Trial, Grace said, “I love the members of the team and the sense of community we have since gone on to form with one another.” Not only are strong bonds being created within the CA community, they are also being formed between CA students and Mock Trial participants from other schools, making Mock Trial a great way to learn and connect with new friends.