Mason Organizes Local Mock Trial Competition

Andrea MasonAndrea Mason spent Saturday, October 29, with local students participating in the Davenport Regional Middle School Mock Trial Competition. Andrea loves to see students cultivate their interest in the legal system, and serving as regional coordinator for this program allows Andrea to reach many young regional students who hold such an interest.

Today, Andrea shares a behind-the-scenes look with us on what mock trial is and why she is involved.

  1. Who participated in the mock trial competition? There were 9 teams in total participating in this year’s competition.  They hailed from the following schools: All Saints Catholic School, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, JFK Catholic School, and Pleasant Valley Junior High School.
  1. Who won? This was the regional competition, which advances teams to the state competition.  Those advancing this year were the JFK Team Crusaders and All Saints Team A.  They will represent our region in the state competition.
  1. How do teams prepare? The teams have a school coach who helps students prepare as well as a volunteer lawyer-coach.  After receiving the materials in late August, the students practice together, learning the mock trial rules, examinations, objections, and their roles,.
  1. What is your role as regional coordinator? The schools register with the Iowa State Bar Association and I coordinate the regional competition here in Scott County.  This means coordinating the location, security, scheduling, and scoring; announcing the victors; and soliciting attorneys to volunteer their Saturday to judge the competition.
  1. What do you enjoy about participating? Giving back to the community, especially to young students who are interested (at least a little) in the law, is the reason I volunteer my time.  The students are really excited about the program, which is refreshing.  Iowa has a robust mock trial program, both in middle school and high school, and very talented student participants.  The Iowa State Bar Association has a lot of good information about Iowa’s program, which is one of the best in the country:
  1. Did you participate in mock trial when you were in school? No.  I grew up in a rural area in the upper Midwest; we were lucky enough to have the “staple” sports (basketball, football, volleyball, and track) and a band, but did not have these types of extracurricular programs.  I never heard the words “mock trial” until law school!
  1. Anything else you want readers to know? Volunteer for mock trial!