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K-State Today

December 7, 2016

K-State mock trial team competes in first invitational tournament of the season

Submitted by Daralyn Gordon Arata

Two teams from K-State's Mock Trial Club competed in the seventh annual Thunderbird Invitational hosted by the United States Air Force Academy at the El Paso County Courthouse in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

One of K-State's teams placed seventh out of 22 teams, and both teams had attorneys and witnesses who were nominated to receive top attorney and witness awards.

"It was a really rewarding experience," said Sawyer Like, team captain and junior in marketing. "Our captains were on the same page and the fruits of our labor showed when we saw our results."

All teams compete with a case file released in August by the American Mock Trial Association. The case consists of hundreds of pages of relevant law, dozens of individual pieces of evidence, and several affidavits and depositions. Students compete throughout the competition season, taking on roles as attorneys and witnesses to defend their position in front of actual judges. Teams perform on both sides of the case in different rounds.

"It is very rewarding to see all of our hard work paying off," said Connor Orrock, vice president and junior in mass communications. "Not only is it rewarding to see personal growth but to see others improve."

Formed in 2009, K-State's Mock Trial Club is an academic competition team that competes in simulated trials in a real courtroom setting. The club is led by Benjamin Long, Kansas City attorney and K-State alumnus; Bondy Kaye, K-State alumnus and former team member; and Sarah Peterson, president and senior in accounting. It is advised by Daralyn Gordon Arata, coordinator of the Office of Pre-Law Advising.

Mock Trial Club provides students opportunities to enhance critical thinking, interpersonal communication and professionalism — skills necessary in a legal career or any profession. 

The club meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in 311 Nichols Hall. Students interested in mock trial can contact Peterson at 651-304-0748 or Sarah495@k-state.edu, or find more information on the Mock Trial Club Facebook page.

The team will compete in the 29th National Invitational, Jan. 27-28, 2017, hosted by the Loras College Mock Trial team in Dubuque, Iowa. 

Sponsors of the Mock Trial Club include K-State's Office of Pre-Law Advising and the communication studies department.