PA High School Mock Trial Competition

The Young Lawyers Division of the Pennsylvania Bar Association has sponsored Pennsylvania’s High School Mock Trial Competition for nearly three decades. The competition is one of the largest in the nation typically involving more than 300 High Schools from across the Commonwealth. Students in teams of eight act as lawyers and witnesses in simulated civil trials before actual judges and jury panels. The competition provides outstanding preparation for today’s high school students to become tomorrow’s lawyers. Many Pennsylvania lawyers discovered their future careers during participation in Pennsylvania’s statewide mock trial competition. Each year hundreds of attorneys from across the state volunteer to assist students as team advisors, scorekeepers, and district and regional coordinators. And each year the winning team from Pennsylvania’s competition goes forward to represent the Commonwealth in the national competition.

Lycoming Law Association members also have a long-standing history of involvement in the competition in District 2 which includes High Schools from Union, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Tioga Counties and Region 4 which includes the Counties of District 2 along with District 1 (Centre, Clearfield and Clinton) and District 3 (Cameron, Elk, McKean and Potter). The Lycoming Law Association Mock Trial Committee meets annually to make sure the competition continues its strong history in Lycoming County. The LLA also provides funds to assist District and Regional coordinators and provide rewards for the winning team at both the District and Regional level.

The Competition begins in each of the three local districts and the winning team from each district proceeds to the semi-final trials at the regional level. Coordinators work together with high school staff, attorney advisors, the court and local lawyers to provide a series of jury trials for the students culminating in a Regional Final held each year in the Federal Courthouse in Lycoming County and presided over by our local Federal Judges. The winning team from the Regional Final proceeds to the Statewide Competition in Harrisburg. Each school fields a team made up of students in ninth through twelfth grade consisting of eight members. Students in each team act as attorneys and witnesses for their party at trial and all teams are required to participate as both Plaintiff and Defendant. The winning team is determined by a score issued by the local attorneys acting as jurors.

The Mock Trial Competition in District 2 and Region 4 would not be possible without the members of the Lycoming Law Association who volunteer their time and efforts to act as jurors and attorney advisors and the judges who volunteer their time and their courtrooms and staff to preside over the competitions.

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