Tryouts are at the start of fall semester, exact dates TBD. We will have two informational meetings: the dates and times of these are also TBD. Anyone interested should come to at least one of the meetings to learn more about mock trial or sign up for a tryout slot!
Tryouts will occur before the 4 team captains that will evaluate your performance. Candidates may tryout as either a witness, an attorney, or both. For witnesses, we look for a mastery of the facts, an ability to improvise, and a dynamic, personable character. As for attorneys, we look for memorization, strong logic, dynamic presentation, and effectively crafted questions. For all candidates, it is important to remember that variation is vital to speeches, examinations, and testimony. A good delivery incorporates different levels and tones, which can transform a good performance to a great one. Consider a performance to be like a song; it should have ups and downs in tone as well as changes in tempo.
HOW TO PREPARE
The best way to prepare for your tryout is to study. You should know the information provided to you incredibly well, in addition to memorizing what you are asked to present. Repeating your roles in a mirror or to a friend can be helpful in making sure it comes across the way you intend. You can feel free to reach out to us with any questions or for suggestions!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are there tryouts during spring semester as well?
A: No. Unfortunately we can only have tryouts at the start of the school year, as we are preparing for our Regionals at the start of the spring semester.
Q: How long does the season last?
A: We start in September and continue until we are eliminated. Nationals are in late April.
Q: I did Mock Trial in high school. What are the differences between high school and college mock?
A: While the general premise is the same, there are a handful of differences. First off, the case packet is much longer in college, totaling approximately 100 pages. Additionally, each side has multiple witnesses available to choose from, as opposed to having three set witnesses per side. The time for statements and examinations are different as well in college, with openings being 5 minutes, closings being 9, and each side having 25 total minutes for their 3 direct examinations and 25 total minutes for their 3 cross examinations. Finally, in one trial, there are only three attorneys and three witnesses per side. Aside from the logistics of the trials, many of the skills learned in high school will translate into college.
Q: If I've never done Mock Trial before can I still try out?
A: Of course! You will be at no disadvantage having not participated in Mock Trial before. We are able to answer any questions you may have, and the tryout process is designed to give everyone a fair shot. Some of our most accomplished members had never participated in Mock Trial before joining UMAMT.
Q: How big a time commitment is Mock Trial at UMass?
A: We have practice twice a week, each for 2 hours, totaling 4 hours a week. Outside of practice time, it is up to you how much of a commitment we have. Members are separated into 2-3 teams, partially based on the time members are willing to commit per week. Our A Team will require the most commitment. Additionally, we will attend between 4-7 tournaments per year, depending on each team and qualification, which will each last one full weekend. Many of our members are involved in other extracurricular activities ranging from Student Government to Greek Life to Club Sports.
Q: I still have more questions! What do I do?
A: Reach out! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our Contact Page.