The High School Mock Trial program operates through the generous spirit of many individuals who volunteer their time. Volunteer opportunities range from coaching a team to evaluating or presiding during competition rounds in the spring to serving on a sub-committee behind the scenes. Without the volunteered time of the membership of the State Bar, the program would not be able to reach the almost 2,200+ high school students across the state of Georgia.
Each team is required to have at least one Attorney Coach; many teams have multiple coaches. The Attorney Coach works directly with the students in learning the legal aspects of preparing the case, from breaking down the case, drafting openings, closing, directs and crosses, to helping them learn how to make objections and use the Rules of Evidence. While this requires the greatest commitment of time, it also provides the most interaction and direct involvement with students in the program. Teams are responsible for identifying Attorney Coaches for their team but the Mock Trial office can assist teams in locating a coach.
Did you know? Attorney Coaches are eligible for CLE credit for their time coaching a team: 3 general CLE hours, including 1 hour in Ethics, 1 hour in Trial Practice, and 1 hour in Professionalism (3,1,1,1). Credit can be claimed by submitting the form below and fee by the March 15 deadline.
- Attorney Coach CLE Form (for the 2020 HSMT season) - Hours will be applied to the 2019 transcript.
Without just a few hours' time from Bar members on a Saturday in the spring, the competitions would not take place. This is the simplest, least time committed way to be involved with the program.
Attorneys and judges are used as Evaluators or Presiding Judges during competition Rounds. For each Round of competition, four volunteers are needed in each courtroom (three Evaluators and one Presiding Judge). Each competition level has three rounds of competition. Below are the dates for each level of the 2020 competition season.
The Regional Competition is the first level of the season, where all teams compete in three Rounds. The top three teams from each Region qualify to advance to the District Competition. Each Region varies in size but will have anywhere from 36 - 84 judging panel spots to fill throught the three Rounds.
- Dates: Weekend of February 1
- Locations: Athens, Albany, Atlanta, Cartersville, Cumming, Dalton, Decatur, Douglasville, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Macon, Marietta, McDonough, Savannah, Valdosta
The District Competitions pair two Regions, bringing six teams together for the competition. After three Rounds, the top two teams advance to State Finals. Each District will have 36 judging panel spots to fill throught the three Rounds.
- Dates: Weekend of February 22
- Locations: Athens, Atlanta, Cartersville, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Savannah, Tifton
The State Finals Competition brings the sixteen teams advancing from Districts together to determine the State Champion, with each team competing in three Rounds on Saturday. After three Rounds, the top two teams advance to Final Round on Sunday. The State Champion will go on to represent Georgia at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Evansville, IN in May.
The State Finals Competition will have 107 judging panel spots to fill over the course of the four Rounds.
- Dates: March 21 and 22
- Location: Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, Lawrenceville
- State Finals Judging Panel Volunteer Information and Registration
Did you know? CLE credit is available for attorneys and judges serving on a judging panel during the 2020 mock trial season: 1 general CLE hour, including 1 hour in Trial Practice and 1 hour in Professionalism (1,1,0,1). Members who are able to help at a second level of competition can claim an additional 1 general CLE hour and 1 hour in Trial Practice (1,1,0,0). To claim the credit, complete the form and mail it in with the fee to the Mock Trial office. Details about the credits available and how they are applied are on the form.
The Mock Trial Competition is operated by the YLD's HSMT Committee which oversees the program. The committee is chaired by a chair, 1st vice chair and 2nd vice chair. Subcommittees exist to work on the creation of the Problem, the Rules of the Competition, planning for State Finals, Honors and Awards, and Development (Fundraising). To volunteer for the committee, please contact Michael Nixon in the Mock Trial office: firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-527-8779.