UWM’s Mock Trial Program

UWM has one of the nation’s oldest mock trial programs.

UWM has achieved four top-ten finishes at the American Mock Trial Association’s premier event and appeared in the AMTA National Championship Final Trial in 2000. When UWM introduced its third law sport, moot court, in 2006, it became the first public university to field teams in all three respected law sports.

Practicum in Mock Trial I and II support team development and permit as many as 9 credits to be earned. These courses are now listed on PAWS as L & S Social Science courses rather than Political Science courses. Besides that listing change of Fall 2014, all policies remain the same.

Criminal defense attorney and UWM Lecturer Brad Bloch has coached mock trial since 1987, mediation since 2001, and added moot court in 2006. The objectives of these programs are preparing for a legal career, teaching professionalism, and showing that UWM education is second to none.

To learn more about the program, read below about the three law sports and view this sample Practicum syllabus.

Interested students should contact Brad Bloch: bradleyb@uwm.edu

Intercollegiate Mock Trial is a three-hour exercise where students “learn by doing” jury trial components, including witness testimony/retort, direct and cross examination, opening statements, and summation. A clone of the Federal Rules of Evidence governs all AMTA Trials, so that pre-law students typically learn these rules of evidence and objection practice fairly intimately before law school. Weekend tournaments feature six to 15 hours of actual trial time. The college mock trials, highly competitive nationwide, have a season starting with case release in mid-August, invitational tournaments mid-October through all of January, and the series leading to the AMTA Championship throughout February, March and April.

Answers to common questions

  1. When should I start?

    As early each Fall Semester as possible. We compete with well-organized programs and initiate our tournament schedule in mid-September to mid-October. Prior experience is not required.

  2. Can I obtain instructor’s consent to begin with the Spring Semester in the Practicum courses?
    No. The problem is that the Practicum courses require six tournament trials a semester and UWM’s Spring Semester is not a good “fit” for new arrivals. Intensive coaching hits its peak in January and coaching resources must be dedicated to mockers who have been actively preparing since September. Exceptions can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Can I compete in Mock Trial if I am not a pre-law student?
    Sure and many, many have. It is just that the Law Sports have become important credentials making differences for those planning to attend law schools. Our program’s alumni include those who have completed UWM undergrad degrees across virtually every undergrad major.
  4. May I compete in Mock Trial or the other Law Sports without enrolling in the Practicum courses?

Intercollegiate Moot Court is a one-hour simulation of oral argument before the United States Supreme Court. Weekend tournaments include as many as eight argument sessions. The American Collegiate Moot Court Association Case is released on May 1. UWM veterans prepare the highly detailed arguments based on extensive published precedent, targeting regional qualifiers scheduled in October. Our newcomers target qualifiers scheduled in December. National Moot Court is scheduled in January. UWM added moot court to its law sports in 2006 because it is a superb “co-curricular” for those actively studying constitutional law and appellate judicial processes. Moot court is not offered for academic credit.

Intercollegiate Mediation is a two-hour simulation of advanced alternate dispute resolution strategies, employing the caucus style of mediation endorsed by the International Academy of Dispute Resolution. Weekend tournaments offer up to eight hours of actual mediating. The competitive season starts with introduction in September and concludes by the first weekend in November. UWM teams have appeared in the National Championship Final Mediation (the law sport’s Final Four) in 2002, 2006 and 2007.