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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What's the difference between Mock Trial and Moot Court?

A: Mock Trial is a student organization focusing on litigation skills and practice.  There are 3 levels of membership, and any student can become a member.  Additionally, Mock Trial hosts 2 competitions a term.  Each competition focuses on a different litigation skill (storytelling, evidence procedure, and trial strategy).  All competitions are at the trial level.  A student can participate in both competitions but may only compete in those for which competitions he/she is eligible. Alternatively, Moot Court is a student organization focusing on the appellate level.  Students can compete in 1 of 2 competitions: the FYC while they are enrolled in Criminal Procedure or the ISC while they are in the ISC class.  For more information, please refer to the organization websites.


Q: What are the differences between the membership levels?

A: Apprentice is the first level of membership.  Any student can be an Apprentice member regardless of his term at Cooley.  Apprentice members are those students who have not yet competed in a competition.  Apprentice members are valuable members of the Mock Trial Board because they often participate in competitions as bailiffs and jurors, which allows them to see what the competition is like first hand. Apprentice members do not have to pay dues or meet a membership point requirement. 


Junior members have competed in the First Year Competition (FYC).  Junior members must pay a one-time fee for membership dues.  Additionally, to be considered an active member, Juniors must meet a minimum of 10 membership points.  Junior members are encouraged to help judge the FYC and compete in the Lansing Evidence Competition (LEC) if they are eligible.


Senior members are students who have competed in either the Lansing Evidence Competition (LEC) or the Intra-School Competition (ISC).  Like Junior members, Seniors must have paid their membership dues and meet their 10 point requirement.  Senior members are encouraged to help judge the LEC.


Please note that a student can join the Mock Trial Board at any point in their Cooley career; it is not necessary to first become an Apprentice member before Junior, and so on.  Also, all students are encouraged to volunteer their time at any competition or to try out for National Teams, regardless of whether or not they are a member of MTB.  For further information or if you have questions, please contact the Membership Committee.


Q: Do I have to pay dues to become a member of mock trial?

A: There is a one time $20 fee to become an active member of mock trial. The $20 will not be due until the term AFTER you have competed in your first competition. The one time $20 fee covers the remainder of your terms that you are a member of mock trial.


Q: What if I am too busy this term to complete all of the required points?

A: There are many opportunities to make up the required points. We offer a variety of bonus point opportunities if you are unable to participate in a required event. If you feel that you don't have time to participate at all, you will have to contact the membership chair and inform them that you would like to deactivate for the term. The following term you will be able to reactivate and participate in all of the events as usual.


Q. Can I receive points for Mock Trial if a certain event is the same as Moot Court?
A: Yes just let membership know about the event.

Q: How many points are required to remain an active member in Mock Trial?

A: Mock Trial members are required to have 10 points to remain an active members for the term.


Q: If I cannot be part of Mock Trial for a term, what procedure do I take?
A: If you cannot be part of Mock Trial for a term, you must let membership know and you will be deactivated for a term.


Q: What are the benefits of competing in the various competitions offered?

A: The mock trial competitions provide an opportunity to all Cooley students to get up in a courtroom and get their feet wet. Not only are you able to fine tune your litigation skills, the competitions assist in learning how to apply the law and rules that you are learning in your substantive classes. The mock trial competitions are also a springboard to the opportunity to participate on a national team.


Q: Can I compete in the same competition more than once?

A: Absolutely.  A student who did not advance past the Octa-Finals in a competition may compete in the same competition the next time it is offered so long as he is otherwise eligible.  Students who are ineligible to compete in a competition may still participate as a witness, bailiff, or juror. For more information, contact the Apprentice Committee. 


Q: Can I help Coach a competitor if I have already competed in that competition?

A: Students are allowed and encouraged to seek help and guidance in preparation for a competition.  So feel free to help a competitor if he or she asks.  However, please remember that you are not the one competing- it is up to competitors to write their own materials and plan their own case strategy.  Additionally, coaches are ineligible to judge for that competition or to watch additional rounds.  MTB operates under the Honor Code, and any suspected violations will be reported.  If you have any questions, please contact the Competitions Committee.


Q: What forms of payment does Mock Trial Board accept?

A: Checks only


Q: Who do I make my check out to?

A: Thomas M. Cooley Mock Trial Board

*And be sure to include your student number!