Answers to frequently asked questions about trying out for a competitive trial team and then competing on one!
May I receive academic credit by participating on a Trial Team?
Yes, the law school currently sponsors two teams for academic credit: the National Trial Team Competition and the Constance Baker Motley Trial Team. Because of the timing of their competitions, the National Trial Team awards one credit in the fall and one credit in the spring. The Constance Baker Motley Trial Team awards two credits in the spring. It is expected that students will log at least sixty hours of academic work for each credit earned. Some student organizations may sponsor teams for other competitions; however, academic credit is not awarded for these competitions.
When do try-outs typically occur?
The timing of the try-outs does depend on which team you are interested in. The National Trial Competition Team typically hosts try-outs during the spring semester, late March. The Constance Baker Motley Trial Team hosts try-outs in the beginning of the fall semester.
Do I need to have mock trial or any trial team experience?
No, the coaches do not expect students to try-out with trial team experience. During the try-outs, the coaches are evaluating your comfortability presenting in front of an audience, your ability to engage with the audience/jury, and how well you can tell a story.
Can I use notes during the try-out?
Different coaches may have different preferences, but, typically, students may not use notes during their try-out.
When are the competitions held?
The dates of the competitions are different depending on which team you are selected for. Both the Constance Baker Motley Trial Team and the National Trial Team compete in the spring semester.
What is the difference between a Trial Team experience and Moot Court?
Trial Team consists of working with a fictitious fact pattern and simulates an entire trial during the competition. Trial Team members will learn how to object against opposing counsel, how to speak to a judge during court, how to conduct direct and cross-examinations of witnesses. Moot Court typically requires competitors to argue fictional appellate cases in front of a judge or a panel of judges.