Mock Trial is a rigorous club where student members engage in trial simulations against teams from other colleges and universities using the case materials provided by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). Cases revolve around fictional but realistic crimes and lawsuits, ranging from criminal arson and embezzlement to civil battery and negligence.

At practice, members write and perform legal arguments, prepare witness characters and performances, learn trial procedure and rules of evidence and argue cases. The team travels around the country, competing against schools such as Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Virginia and Cornell University. 

Each year, the Mock Trial team’s 30-plus devoted members are coached by Albert Masland, the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas judge, as well as Dickinson Law students. The club meets at least twice per week in Denny 317, determined to perfect the art of argument and legal advocacy and create a welcoming place where teammates can build strong friendships.

Mock Trial is a yearlong commitment that begins in early fall and ends as late as May. The club has members in various majors and academic years, all of whom are considered equal members of the organization. And that's why the club’s motto is “Anyone Can Mock.”

Joining Mock Trial 

Any student at Dickinson is eligible to try out for Mock Trial in the beginning of the fall semester. Traditionally, tryouts are held on the Monday after the Activities Fair. After tryouts, students are generally not permitted to join the team until the following academic year because the competitive season will already be in progress. Students must live on campus to participate in the program and thus cannot be part of a study-abroad program. Any questions about student eligibility can be directed to mocktrial@dickinson.edu

Structure

The Dickinson College Mock Trial team is organized under the leadership of five executive members, who are in charge of planning and executing the Mock Trial season. Their tasks include working with the AMTA to keep accreditation and attend AMTA-sanctioned tournaments, stack teams according to talent and dedication and work with faculty and staff advisors. Our faculty advisor is Associate Professor of Political Science Sarah Niebler, and current coaches are Penn State Dickinson Law student Ella Goldman (Dickinson '21), Penn State Dickinson Law graduate Mitchell Snyder (Dickinson '19) and Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas judge Albert Masland. 

Fall 2023 Mock Trial leadership

President: Caleb Chastain '25
Vice President: Lindsay Kent '25
Treasurer: Molly Moran '24
Trip Coordinator: Emma Browning '26
Director of Outreach: Corinne Crowley '25

Contact Info

Mock Trial Advisor

Sarah Niebler

Mock Trial President

Caleb Chastain

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