Thousands of high school students from across the state participate each year in this highly motivating, energetic, and challenging academic competition! The program provides a great way for students to gain an “insider’s view” of our judicial system, plus, they gain confidence speaking in front of others and have a lot of fun at the same time.
The competition is open to all high school students – public, private and home school. Former participants say that the benefits of preparation and participation in the mock trial program are well worth the time and effort spent.
The Dallas Bar Association Mock Trial Committee is responsible for the organization and administration of the statewide high school mock trial program, which was established in 1979. Each calendar year, over 160 schools across the state and approximately 2000+ students participate in this exciting advocacy competition. In addition, there are hundreds of attorneys and judges involved in the judging of each trial of the competition. To learn more about the history of the program please click here.
The mock trials are open to the public and we encourage any teacher, student, parent, etc. who are interested in the law to attend and observe these teams in action! You can also check out our informational video here.
How it works
- A team of 6-10 high school students are gathered by a team adviser – this can be a teacher, an attorney, or even student leaders;
- Once the team is registered online, the team will begin preparing to compete against their peers in an organized Regional Competition meet.
- In October of the current school year, teams will be able to download information related to a fictional case.
- Each team must learn both sides of the case study (Prosecution/Plaintiff and Defense) and students must play the roles of both attorneys and witnesses in a ‘mock’ trial. Members work together to learn the facts of the case and create strategies for trial and then compete in local-area meets.
- The regional competitions are organized by Regional Coordinators and are usually held on a weekend between January 9 and February 13, 2021 at a local courthouse or legal institution in the region. The winner(s) of these competitions will then advance to State Competition in Dallas on the first weekend in March.
- The winners of these meets will then advance to the State Competition in Dallas, TX held the first weekend of March during the current school year.
- The final champion team will then represent the Great State of Texas at the National High School Mock Trial Competition held in May (usually the first or second weekend). See Texas’ past standings at nationals here.
Please note that Regional Competitions are held from, mid-January to mid-February every year. Regional winners are the only teams that will advance to the State Competition held in March during the current school year. Deadline to register is: December 16, 2020.
The Texas High School Mock Trial Competition Regions are determined by school district locations (or home school headquarters) within the TEA Regional Map. CLICK HERE to locate your Region through the TEA’s online map.
Get Your Team Started
- A team adviser – a teacher, an attorney, or even student leaders – will need to recruit 6-10 team members to form one team. NOTE: Only one team is allowed per school.
- Find out what region you are in here.
- The team must register online and pay the $175 registration fee by December 16, 2020. Option to pay by credit card or check.
- Early registration is encouraged even before all team members are gathered, so that current members can be ready/prepped before the case materials launch in October.
[Important: There can only be one team of 7-10 members per high school. Therefore, if many students are interested, please have an internal competition, or try-outs, to determine who is on the Varsity team. Also, please notify the school principal and others at the school who may be interested in starting a team of your participation, so that more than one team does not register.]
- Once registered, the State Coordinator will contact you and connect you with your Regional Coordinator.
- Check out the Competition Rules, Federal Rules of Evidence and other resources available on the website ‘Materials’ page.
- The case for the year will be released online as a downloadable PDF on October 1st.
- Each team must learn both sides of the case study (Prosecution/Plaintiff and Defense) and students must play the roles of both attorneys and witnesses in a ‘mock’ trial.
- Teams should secure assistance from a local attorney or judge to help with courtroom decorum and trial skills – even for one day this is helpful!
- For more information on how to start a team refer to our, How to Start a Mock Trial Team Packet.
When you don’t know where else to look…Click here for Frequently asked questions.
Team Registration Payment Instructions
Please note: Each team will bear its own expense to all competitions – this mainly includes transportation and food/beverage.
Paying as an individual – Please include a note with registrant’s name/team/school or provide with a copy of the receipt along with payment.
Paying as a business – You can print a copy of the Invoice/Receipt and give to your Accounts Payable/Business Office. Please ask you business office to include the name of the school on/with the check to credit payment.
Purchase Orders (or POs) are NOT an acceptable form of payment for the competition.
Registration fees must be paid in advance of the competition in order to compete. If you are new to the competition and POs are your only option (i.e. we do not have an account set-up with you), please provide the following W-9 to your Accounts Payable Dept. and send any additional paperwork and/or contact the State Coordinator.
Purchase Cases /DVDs
Shipping of Product: If you have ordered DVDs, then the product will be sent to you via USPS within the week that payment is received at our office. If you need the item(s) sooner, please send us an email along with your Fed-Ex or UPS account number with a note on how quickly. We can also charge the express shipping to your credit card if you prefer, but please supply the number.
If you have ordered State Cases, then these will be emailed to the provided email address within the week that payment is received. If multiple State cases are ordered, we will burn these onto a CD/DVD and mail to you.
Order a mock trial DVD or case packet here.
Free (Years 1981-1999)
For Purchase ($20/ea.) (Years 2003 – present, except 2006)
All Checks or Money Orders should be made payable to:
DBA – Community Service Fund
Please Mail Payment to:
Attn: State Coordinator
2101 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201
Due Dates – District checks must be received in our office no later than January 15; all other check or money order payments need to be received by the January 15, 2021 deadline.