The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&Mock Trial

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Photo by Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Mock Trail
L&A_Mock Trial

The Texas A&M Mock Trial team is a university-recognized organization whose goal is to help Aggies get a closer look at a court of law or practice their public speaking skills.

Mock Trial was founded in 1991 and re-established in 2015. According to their website, the organization is open to all majors and has a three step application process. After being admitted to the organization, members have the option to become a part of the A, B, or C teams — each corresponding to the amount of time a member can devote to Mock Trial on a weekly basis. At the beginning of each academic year, the organization receives a packet containing the details of a civil or criminal trial. The teams then prepare arguments for the defense as well as the plaintiff. 

Economics and psychology senior Priya Jain was recently promoted from the mock trial organization officer board to the organization’s president. Jain has been a part of the organization since she came to A&M. She said everyone is welcome to join the organization, regardless of major and professional interests. 

“You don’t even have to be interested in law,” Jain said. “Anyone who is a hard worker and is interested in learning about the law and interested in going in front of a judge and a jury.”

There are two key roles on the competition teams. Members can choose whether they want to take on the role of an attorney or a witness. Jain said attorney roles are mainly for those who are interested in law school, and witness roles involved more improvised dialogue and theatrical behavior. 
 

“[The] attorney role is for people who are actually interested in learning more [about] the legal side,” Jain said. “[Witnesses get to] become the character that is within the case packet.”

History senior William Johnston has been a member for two years and said he has enjoyed his experience thoroughly. He said he felt being a member had helped him gain experience. 

“[The organization] has helped with my public speaking, helped [further] my knowledge about the law,” Johnston said. “It is also just fun to participate [in] tournaments.”

Johnston said though the organization was time consuming, he made it his priority and said he did not regret it.

“When you have some free time, this becomes your free time,” Johnston said. 

Historically, Johnston has performed the role of an attorney. Though he has acted on behalf of the plaintiff and the defendant, he typically delivered closing statements. Johnston said he felt the organization was also active socially, as beyond the designated social events the organization hosted, he said members spent roughly six hours a week together.

“We are an incredibly social [organization] just because we do have to spend so much time with each other,” Johnston said. “We do get to know each other very well.”

Society, ethics, and law sophomore and public relations chair Emma Heintz said Mock Trial’s  officers have an increased workload. Between managing the organization’s social media accounts and promotional flyers, Heintz has stayed busy. Since the organization is student led, Heintz said officers are also responsible for coaching members and ensuring members feel stable mentally.

“We joke that it [is] kind of like a part time job,” Heintz said. “It is a pretty big time commitment —we [are] managing twenty five people.”

Heintz praised Mock Trial for giving her a place she could call her own. Academically, she said she enjoyed meeting others aiming for law school. She stated she found a community of people who challenged and supported her in a big school like A&M.

“The people on Mock Trial are my best friends,” Heintz said.
 

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