Objection!

Between studying for class and working on various journals and other projects, a handful of students may have something else on their mind: Trial. The BU Law Mock Trial team is working hard this semester. With one competition down and one competition still to come, don’t be alarmed if you notice someone alone in a study room, seemingly talking to themselves, or if you hear someone yell “Objection!”

I was a competitor in the first competition this semester, a criminal case hosted by the Queens District Attorney in New York. The competition was held on October 29th and 30th, so for the whole month I spent my evenings immersed in the world of Ralph Sanders, on trial for criminal contempt and the murder of Eva Rosenberg. I have to say- I loved it. For 5 weeks my teammates and I dove headfirst into criminal procedure, rules of evidence, witness questioning, and persuasive advocacy. Competing in teams of four, we each get a chance to conduct a direct examination and a cross examination of a witness, and either an opening or closing statement to a jury. Mock Trial is a crash course in what it’s like to be in court, and having the opportunity to practice these skills while still in school is a low pressure way to develop as a soon-to-be attorney. I also happen to think that it’s just a lot of fun. After weeks of preparation, I got to present my case to a full jury full of NYPD police officers and attorneys from the DA’s and Public Defenders office and see how it all played out.

The Crim Trial Team heading home from competition

The Crim Trial Team heading home from competition

You don’t have to want to go into criminal work to enjoy mock trial either. Mock trial sees a variety of different types of problems, both civil and criminal, and several students involved don’t plan to be litigators at all after graduation. The competition coming up this month is a civil labor/employment problem, and the experience is largely structured the same way regardless of the topic of the trial. The benefits of Mock Trial are tangible either way. I feel like I have a leg up in my evidence class since we work with the federal rules, and the advocacy and quick strategic thinking is great practice.

As the semester winds down, I find myself already excited to begin competing again in the Spring (not that I am ready for Spring just yet- I’m looking forward to a nice vacation in the meantime). I look forward to honing my skills even more, and of course to winning more cases.

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