CMC recently hosted 22 teams from California and Arizona in one of just three student-run mock trial tournaments in the United States. More than 220 people, including students and coaches, were on hand for the competition, held at the Kravis Center and McKenna Auditorium. "We got astounding reviews for the facilities," said Jonathan Hirsch '12, president of CMC Mock Trial.
CMC Mock Trial has enjoyed great success, regularly advancing to the National Championship Tournament, with members racking up many individual awards. This year Daniel Shane '13 and Paul Jeffrey '12 won All-Region Witness awards at the Claremont Regional. Xiaotong Li '12, Dani Spencer '12 and Sam Stone '14 won All-Region Witness awards at the Fresno Regional. Li also earned an All-Region Attorney award at the Fresno Regional. They have even enjoyed having an All-American witness on the team Dani Spencer '12 was given that honor three years ago.
And, for the second straight year, Claremont McKenna College will be sending two teams the maximum number you can send to the Opening Round of the National Championships on March 10-11, at the Newport Beach Harbor Justice Center.
Not only do CMC students run the regional tournament here in Claremont, they also run the CMC Mock Trial program itself.
"Most teams have a faculty advisor or an attorney coach who helps them understand the rules of evidence, or how to proceed with the case," Hirsch says. "We have taught ourselves. Each year we pass along that knowledge to the freshmen, which is something really cool about CMC mock trial." He and other senior team members teach the newcomers everything they need to know to successfully maintain the program.
Students involved in these mock trials have found the skills to be very useful after graduation. Whether it's giving presentations in the workplace, interviewing for jobs, or just acting appropriately in a formal setting, the program provides a great opportunity to become more comfortable with public speaking.
Good luck to the CMC Mock Trial teams this weekend at the Opening Round of the national championships.