Collegiate Mock Trial requires students to learn a legal case and play the roles of attorneys and witnesses as they try the case against teams from other schools.
Elon’s undergraduate Mock Trial team competed at the American Mock Trial Association Regional competition held Feb. 7-8 in Richmond, Virginia, with Taylor McMartin ’21 winning an award for outstanding performance.
Collegiate Mock Trial requires students to learn a legal case and play the roles of attorneys and witnesses as they try the case against teams from other schools. Teams are judged on their ability to advance their case as well as their poise, performance and believability.
McMartin won an award for outstanding performance as a witness.
“I’m so proud of the team, we all put in so much work to get here,” McMartin said.
Elon was one of 11 colleges represented in Richmond. The tournament consisted of four rounds, during which the team took on the role of either prosecution or defense to try a murder case against another school. In each round, three students for each side performed as witnesses called to testify and three students for each side served as attorneys to argue the case before the round’s judges.
Elon’s team consists of 19 undergraduates, ranging from seniors to first-year students, representing a variety of majors.
“The great thing about Mock Trial at Elon is that it really represents a tight-knit community,” said Jacob Hayward ’20, president of Elon’s team. “We all know and care about each other and it’s great to have an outlet where people with very different Elon experiences are able to come together and do an activity they love.”
Elon Mock Trial is sponsored by the Legal Professions program at Elon and coached by Kristen DelForge, a local attorney and alumna of both Elon University and Elon University School of Law. DelForge was a member of Elon Mock Trial while an undergraduate.
“Undergraduate mock trial is a rigorous academic activity that requires tremendous dedication, hard work and determination,” DelForge said.
As coach, DelForge guides student practices and provides feedback on the material they produce, as well as their performance of that material.
“More than just competition, mock trial is an organization dedicated not just to the technical skill of mock trial, but also to provide a close and welcoming community of students and alumni. As a coach, each class of students brings different talents and I have found such joy in coaching this program. I am especially proud of the students this year — their growth, their resolve and their energy. I am eternally proud of our program,” DelForge said.
Elon Mock Trial holds try-outs for new members each fall and can be found on PhoenixConnect. Students with an interest in the program are encouraged to reach out to current members through the student organization page.