Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Order in the court! Mock Trial gears up for competition

Members+of+Suffolk+Mock+Trial
Members of Suffolk Mock Trial

Suffolk University’s Mock Trial team is gearing up for its first competition since the COVID-19 pandemic with a new focus on team-building and hands-on trial experience.

President Brenna Koppel and Vice President Lizzie Costa revived the club last year, striving to give students practical court experience.

Costa said while classes taught her the knowledge and skills needed in the courtroom, there was no way to put them to use. That’s where Mock Trial came in.

“This is kind of an opportunity to put my knowledge to the test of my performative skills in the law, which I’m going to be doing a lot of as a lawyer in future, so it’s given me an opportunity to really play the part,” said Costa, a senior law major.

In mock trials, students receive a fictional case and prepare litigation, with the roles of attorneys, witnesses and paralegals assigned to various members. Last year, the club did internal scrimmages to build up skills for the upcoming year, a move that Koppel said helped the club dramatically.

“Mock Trial definitely is one of those clubs where you’re putting in work inside and outside the club. And it definitely showed for sure [last year],” said Koppel, a senior law major. 

For many members, participating in Mock Trial builds more than just courtroom skills: it gives students a community.

“After the first meeting, I really felt connected to it just because everyone was so nice. And I had a great time meeting new people,” said Olivia Windisch, the team’s public relations coordinator. “I just really wanted the opportunity to learn how trials work and kind of just dip my feet in because I’ve never really had the chance before. I was really lucky because I ended up making a lot of great friends through mock trial.”

From building career skills to forming connections with the Suffolk community, mock trial members are able to step into themselves as future lawyers before even taking the LSAT.

“I think it’s a really great resume booster and looks great because you’re getting trial experience as an undergraduate student, which I don’t think a lot of people can really say they have the chance to do,” said Windisch. “I think that mock trial is a great way to start networking, especially as a freshman.”

Mock Trial’s first competition in the spring will pit them against other collegiate teams, and while Costa is excited for the next step for the club, she said the club isn’t expecting to bring home first place.

“We want to focus on understanding the competition, understanding what’s needed in that type of atmosphere and then hopefully we can create a good baseline for the coming years after the club continues,” said Costa.

To Windisch, team-building is the core of Mock Trial’s mission for the year.

“Our goal really is to just build a team that feels confident enough to compete against other schools,” she said. “I think we really just want to gain that experience and confidence so that we can continue to build ourselves up over the years.”

Mock Trial’s E-board emphasized that students don’t need law experience to join the organization.

“We’re really open and accepting in terms of you don’t have to have that foundational knowledge if this is your first time [and] you’re really excited about the aspect of mock trial or being involved,” said Costa.

Mock Trial meets every Thursday during activities period in Sargent Hall. More information can be found on their Instagram @mocktrial.suffolk.

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Shealagh Sullivan
Shealagh Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief | she/her
Shealagh is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in international relations from Ashby, Massachusetts. She has previously worked as a co-op for the Boston Globe on the homepage desk and as an intern for GBH News and Boston Public Radio. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, finding a new favorite coffee spot and exploring Boston. She is a huge art lover and wants nothing more than to see the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. After graduation, Shealagh hopes to be a political journalist in Washington D.C. Follow Shealagh on X @ShealaghS.
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