"Within the club at OSU, we are a very tight-knit group of friends."
Who can join? Why join?
Anyone is welcome to join Mock Trial, but we hold auditions for competitive spots on the team. By the mandate of the national committee that oversees competition in collegiate mock trial, we can’t have more than 30 competing members at a time. People should get involved because it is an outstanding way to develop public speaking and communication skills, along with logic, argumentation, writing and reasoning in a fun environment with friends who will change your life!
How did you get involved?
I got started with Mock Trial after I joined the Pre-Law Society in my freshman year. I was advised that it’d be a great way to prepare the vocational skill set necessary to be successful in law school and in practice. After my first year participating in competitions, I was absolutely and irrevocably hooked; I have been doing it and loving it ever since.
What is your best memory?
My favorite memory is from my first year coaching and leading the team when I was a junior. At the first invitational tournament of the competitive season, the Emerald City Open in Seattle, our team received the Spirit of AMTA award, a national award offered at all tournaments that honors the most friendly, professional and sportsmanly team. It is earned by a tally of votes of all the competitors your team faces at a tournament (all teams get to vote for the winner). Oregon State won almost unanimously — a feat no other school has achieved in the history of the tournament. To me, this memory stands out because, while some of our members won individual awards at the tournament, it is the atmosphere of friendship in our team that has made the experience of this club so unique and precious to me.
What is the community like?
The community in Mock Trial is highly competitive, but very open and inviting. We have friends across the nation with whom we stay loosely in touch as we all travel to compete. Within the club at Oregon State, we are a very tight-knit group of friends. I count all my teammates among my closest and most lifelong friends and acquaintances from Oregon State.
When did you first feel a sense of belonging on campus?
The first sense of belonging I felt was in the car ride to my first Mock Trial tournament. We were all singing along to the songs on the radio and taking turns picking the next tune to sing. It was an amazing bonding experience and made me feel like I was accepted — poor singing and all.
How have you grown from being involved?
Professionally, I have grown more enormously than I can say. Before participating in Mock Trial, I was very timid and had no public speaking experience. Now, I am completely comfortable talking to anyone and presenting in front of large audiences. It has expanded my professional network and allowed me to develop extensive leadership skills I’d otherwise never have realized in myself. Personally, this club has made me more confident, more self-aware, more socially conscientious and more community-minded. Every day I do Mock Trial, I feel better about myself, feel closer with my peers and feel more motivated to enact positive changes around me in my community. I’m not kidding. It seriously changed my life.