Volunteer for ISBA’s High School Mock Trial Invitational

Mock trialThe Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) is recruiting volunteers for its 2019 High School Mock Trial Invitational. The mock trials will be held Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10 at the Public Affairs Center at the University of Illinois Springfield. The volunteer registration deadline is Thursday, February 28 at 4:30 p.m. CT.

This year’s mock trial will explore a criminal case involving the death of a preparatory academy student during a fire in a school dormitory. The ISBA invites judges, lawyers, law students and paralegals from across the state to volunteer as judges and jurors.

The ISBA has sponsored the High School Mock Trial Invitational for more than 30 years. The event helps prepare students for a potential career in the legal field by providing the opportunity to learn how to present a legal case before the Illinois Courts. The Invitational’s goals are:

  • To increase student understanding of the American judicial system;
  • To familiarize students with the law, courtroom procedures and the legal system;
  • To build bridges of cooperation, respect and support between the community and the legal profession;
  • To improve basic skills such as listening, speaking, writing, reading, analyzing and working as a team;
  • To learn the meaning of good citizenship in a democracy through participation in our system of law and justice; and
  • To develop team spirit, establish objectives and work toward a common goal.

Each Illinois high school may enter one team consisting of 10 students. All teams must complete at least one practice trial with another school, or with another team from their school, or a regional competition, prior to attending the Mock Trial Invitational.

Teams will participate in one trial on Saturday (as prosecution or defense) and will argue the opposite side of the case on Sunday. Team members will also be required to take a written Law Test. The test assesses the team’s knowledge of the case, the mock trial rules of evidence and other law-related topics.

The winning team will represent Illinois at the National High School Mock Trial Championship, May 16-19 in Athens, Georgia.

If you have questions, please contact Coordinator Katy Karayannis at

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