Mock trial is an advocacy competition in which students build their analytical and rhetorical skills by preparing and trying both sides of a fictional legal case.
A mock trial team is made of seven to ten students who portray attorneys and witnesses. Though students are assisted by a faculty coach and attorney advisors, mock trial at PCS is a student-led organization. Students analyze the case that they are given, determining the issues in question. The witnesses learn the facts in their witness statements, creating characters based on those statements. During a mock trial competition, the attorneys deliver opening and closing arguments; question their own team’s witnesses by direct examination; cross examine the witnesses from the other team; and make and respond to objections based on the rules of evidence.
Though many of our mock trial alumni have gone on to pursue careers in the legal field, mock trial is not just for students interested in going to law school. Mock trial trains students to skillfully articulate their thoughts in an eloquent and persuasive manner, and it trains them to think quickly under pressure, valuable skills for all students. In addition, portraying witnesses allows students to practice their acting skills.
The PCS mock trial team has performed very well over the years, frequently winning the Houston-area regional competition and advancing to the state competition. In 2016, the PCS team placed fifth in the state of Texas.
For more information about the competition, see the Texas High School Mock Trial Competition website: http://www.texashighschoolmocktrial.com/