Nebraska State Bar Foundation

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Law-Related Education Mock Trial Suggested Mock Trial Timeline

Suggested Mock Trial Timeline

Each mock trial team has a specific procedure for creating and preparing a mock trial team for competition. No team prepares for competition in the same way. The following is a suggested sample timeline and is not intended to take the place of a successful method a team has already developed.


  • Call a meeting of the mock trial team that participated in the previous season during the first week of school, unless there was not a team at the school in the preceding year. In that case, call a meeting of all students interested in being a part of a new mock trial team.
  • Post flyers or announcements in prominent places in the school halls (with the permission of your administration, of course!) announcing an informational meeting about Mock Trial (also announce on the intercom if possible).
  • Contact the Bar Foundation if you do not have an attorney coach.
  • Hold an informational meeting around the middle of the month
  • Contact your attorney coaches and invite them to the informational meeting or call the Bar Foundation office to schedule a speaker to visit your school to tell interested (new and veteran) students about the program.
  • Talk to the students about the deadlines for registering a team.
  • Have students fill out a try-out application form (that you have designed) at this time.
  • Announce the try-out date(s).
  • Consult other teachers of the interested students and their sponsors in other extra-curricular activities to determine whether they will be a good addition to your team.

Early September

  • Hold try-outs (if necessary) early in the month. A mock trial team consists of 6-8 members.
  • Contact your attorney coach to assist in try-outs (if you would like) and then begin working with the teams immediately after try-outs.
  • Begin assigning attorney, witness, and timekeeper roles.
  • Ask the attorney coach to go over the basics, especially with new students (the rules, how to do an opening, closing, direct and cross, objections and entering evidence).
  • Practice these skills with the mock trial case, posted on the Bar Foundation’s website,, in late August.
  • Begin applying lessons learned about openings, closings, directs and crosses to the current competition case.
  • Continue with weekly practices – many teams practice 2 or 3 times per week.
  • Meet with Plaintiff/Prosecution and Defense squads separately.

Late September

  • Increase the number of practices per week.
  • Begin runs-through of the current competition case from start to finish, with objections.
  • Ask your attorney coach if he or she knows someone (an attorney or judge) in your community (that will not be a judge or evaluator at your regional competition) who would be willing to “bench” a rehearsal session for your team. (Exposing your team to different judges will prepare them for the different rulings a presiding judge may make on competition day.)
  • Make sure well before competition day that your team understands what they are expected to wear.
  • Hold a dress rehearsal the week before your competition with a guest “judge,” and require your team to dress appropriately. Let them know that this rehearsal will be a straight run-through, just like at competition.


  • State Championship – December 9 and 10, 2014 in Sarpy County
  • For regional champions, make sure you meet all deadlines for state championship, including hotel reservations if you must travel more than 100 miles.
  • Step up the intensity of your rehearsals in the two weeks before state finals.
  • Consult your administration about transportation to the state competition.


  • State Champion Team receives National Case in early April and prepares for Nationals in Raleigh, North Carolina.


  • State Champion Team attends National Competition, May 14-16, 2015.


Adapted with permission from MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT, a publication of the
Georgia Mock Trial Competition and the Center for Continuing Education, The University of Georgia

Law-Related Education