Baylor Mock Trial Places Second in Regional Tournament, Continues to Nationals

March 23, 2017
2017 mock trial team

The Baylor Undergraduate Mock Trial Team will continue to nationals after placing second at the Opening Round Championship Series for the American Mock Trial Association in Memphis, Tennessee. (Courtesy photo)

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WACO, Texas (March 23, 2017) – The Baylor undergraduate mock trial team is headed to nationals after placing second in the Opening Round Championship Series for the American Mock Trial Association, held in Memphis, Tennessee from March 17-19.

In addition to the Baylor team placing second, freshman history major Brandon Cooper was also named one of 10 Outstanding Witnesses.

“This placement is the best showing Baylor has ever had at this tournament,” said Rebecca Voth, vice president of the Baylor mock trial team. “We did not lose a single round at this tournament against teams from across the region. We are also the only school in the state of Texas to qualify for the national tournament.”

This is the second time in three years that the Baylor mock trial team has qualified for nationals. This year, the National Championship Tournament will take place in Los Angeles, California, from April 21-23.

“The competition level at nationals is insane,” said Wimberly Dick, president of the mock trial team. “Judges come from around the country to judge the rounds, including Judge Judy and Judge Alex.”

Dick said the Baylor team was previously ranked 38th in the nation, but after placing second in this tournament, she expects the team’s ranking to increase.

In a mock trial competition, students advocate fictional court cases against other universities from across the nation. The team has competed against schools such as New York University, Cornell University, Emory University and Harvard University.

“We take on the roles such as the attorneys, forensic scientists and sometimes even accused murderers,” Dick said. “We have to learn the Federal Rules of Evidence (hearsay, speculation, etc.), criminal and civil court proceedings, and even how to object.”

Mock trial also provides students with opportunities to network, both with other students and the judges.

“Our judges are often local attorneys and they gave us their name and contact information,” Voth said. “Last year, I followed up with one attorney I met at a tournament and obtained an incredible summer internship, so I know those connections are valuable.”

by Kalli Damschen, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.