American Legal Experience - Mock Trial offers high school students a unique opportunity to learn public speaking skills through a concentrated focus on the American judicial system.
The adversarial nature of the American legal system places a premium on effective communication and persuasion through well-reasoned arguments. Therefore, our focus on this system provides students with an exciting and challenging medium for the development of speaking skills.
Mock Trial participants will work with experienced public speaking instructors and a directing attorney to learn the structure of the court systems, differences between the process of law involved in civil and criminal trials, and most importantly proper methods of the formation and presentation of convincing legal arguments. As part of this learning process, students will be directly exposed to the basics of certain substantive areas of law, including constitutional, criminal and tort law, as well as rules of evidence.
Past activities have included a visit to a court house for a first-hand look at the American justice system at work, participation in simulated client interviews, and professionally critiqued oral arguments. The weeklong session includes at least two mock trials, including opening statements, the examination of witnesses and introduction of evidence and closing arguments. Guest speakers such as area attorneys or judges have been regular features of recent ALE sessions.
“The court visit was highly encouraging for prospective lawyers. It was exciting to see judicial system in action after learning about it. The lawyers/speakers were also helpful in that they humanized and familiarized the whole process.” - Davis Jeon, ALE camper
“Gabriel very much enjoyed ALE at Stanford. It was a good balance of academics and social activities. He is looking forward to more “EU” experience.” - Margarita Padilla, ALE parent
“Sumita hasn’t stopped talking about ALE since she got back. She is making plans to return next year. Thank you for making her experience a special one.” - Veda Nathan, ALE parent
Mock Trial - Staff Profiles
Staff are typically subject matter experts and experienced teachers. Staff assignments vary by program and all staff are held to the highest possible standards. Some of our recent staff members for this program include:
Byron Arthur is a practicing attorney from New Orleans, Louisiana, and is particularly well equipped to lead our American Legal Experience program which brings an equal focus to mock trial and to public speaking and critical thinking skills. He is a lead instructor in Public Forum debate at the Harvard Debate Council high school debate...
A successful practicing attorney, Anthony Matricciani brings almost two decades of courtroom experience to our Mock Trial program. He’s acted as Lead Counsel in many notable cases and his career highlights include employing a successful mental health defense in a complex murder trial (People v Corral), and representing a major third party vice...
We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed.