The Laramie High School mock trial class is currently preparing for state in Cheyenne.

In mock trial students recreate courtroom scenarios and act the part of a lawyer. Attorneys help students as they prepare for the courtroom. Students learn about law, how to create a defense and how to work in teams.

There are 2 teams for mock trial. These teams must be close and work well together. They will spend the entire class working with each other to prepare the case for state. Teams that work well together tend to do better during competitions working with each other to achieve a common goal.

In many other schools’ mock trial is an after-school activity. At LHS it is a class. This allows students to spend more time on the case and to prepare better.

“I think that’s what puts us far ahead of the other teams is the fact that we have an actual class,” Upchurch said. Having a specific class is what allowed the team to make it to nationals last year.

In the courtroom the students make up the defense. The judge, jury, and prosecution are made up of professional attorneys and a judge. The students must present their defense to the judge, and the team that presents the best case wins the competition.
The competition works in a bracket, each team facing off until there is 1 team left. That team is declared the winner and will go to nationals.

In the class students must memorize every aspect of the case. They will memorize the laws surrounding the case, the statues, and their defense.

Most of their time is spent working on the case at state mock trial, reviewing the cases and making them better. Most of the preparation happens outside of class. The attorneys help streamline the cases the students present.

“Preparing a case is a lot more than anyone thinks,” Upchurch said. There are a lot of things that get corrected and turned down.

Students are currently working on rough drafts and getting their work critiqued by attorneys.