Students in their second and third year of law school are eligible to participate in the Mock Trial Program. Selection occurs through a tryout process. Participants are selected by the faculty advisor with the advice of the Mock Trial Board. Students participate in at least one interschool competition per semester. They also administer intraschool competitions, such as the Opening Statement Competition or Closing Argument Competition. All team members serve as mentors and trainers to students who are interested in trying out for the team the next year. All team members participate in administrative and training tasks. Enrollment in the Advanced Mock Trial course and program is capped at eight students per year. Each student receives two credit hours per semester, for a maximum of six credit hours.
In recent years, SIU law students have competed in many locations, including Chicago, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Monica, Buffalo, Louisville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Champaign, DeKalb, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. During the AY 2013-2014 year, SIU teams took first place in an invitational tournament at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, second place in the Saluki Invitational tournament in Carbondale, and second place in the prestigious Estrella Mock Trial Competition in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Individual SIU team members earned Best Overall Advocate awards in all three competitions.
SIU hosted new Mock Trial Competition
SIU Law's trial team invited the trial team from the University of Missouri Kansas City law school to southern Illinois for a special tournament in September, 2012. The SIU team faced off against UMKC at the Williamson County Courthouse in Marion, Illinois. The competition centered on a civil trial, and the participants litigated the case from voir dire to verdict. Illinois judges presided and community residents volunteered to serve as members of the jury. The jury's decision was the sole criteria in deciding the tournament winners. Each school was allowed two teams to represent their school and given two weeks to prepare. The students had to research and prepare their arguments. The case was tried four times on Saturday, and SIU won three of the four cases.
Professor Bernie Segal In Vino Veritas Criminal Law Mock Trial Competition
SIU Law participated in this inaugural, invitation-only tournament which featured some of the top law schools in the country. Our team, consisting of Mike Aguirre, Derek DeFranco, Ginny Huot and Joe Yancey, competed in three rounds and won two of them, defeating Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and Buffalo, and losing to Maryland (which went undefeated in the preliminary rounds and was the top seed in the final four). SIU came in 5th overall at the competition. Joe Yancey received the Best Advocate award for Round One of the competition, earning a perfect score as an advocate.