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Mock Trial Seeks for Additional Members

The O’Dowd Mock Trial team is looking for new members to complete the 25 person team that will compete in this year’s Alameda County Mock Trial competition.  This activity is open to students in all grades.  We are looking for students to be character witnesses,  as well as pre-trial and trial attorneys, a bailiff and a timekeeper.

This year’s case, People v Awbrey, is a case involving human trafficking and false imprisonment, with a pre-trial argument on the 4th and 5th amendments.  

The information meeting for students will be this Thursday, October 13, after school in Room 201.  Our meeting will begin promptly at 3:15 p.m. and should last about 30 minutes.  Students will be given the overview of the season, along with the competition dates and scrimmage dates.  Students who are interested and can make the commitment, will be given a case booklet and our practice schedule for the next three weeks.  All students are invited to attend these practices and begin work on the case.  At the end of the three weeks, the Bishop O’Dowd High School Mock Trial team will be selected.  

Mock Trial is one of the most prestigious academic activities in the nation.  Mock Trial teaches students critical thinking skills, how to write clear and succinct questions and persuasive arguments, effective public speaking, the ability to think on one’s feet as well as self-confidence, all useful tools no matter what occupation students will pursue. More than 400 colleges and universities field 600 teams in addition to over 100 law schools.  At the high school level, there is one National Mock Trial High School competition.  Teams in all 50 states receive a fictitious case scenario, develop both a prosecution and a defense, and then compete against other high school teams in their county.  The winner of each county goes to the state competition and the winner of each state competes in the National Mock Trial Championship.

College admissions departments give weight to Mock Trial participation because students are required to work for months on a single case, demonstrating commitment and perseverance, both important qualities in academic success. After months of preparation, there are four trials that determine which teams advance.  In addition, the small size of the team (maximum 25 students) requires effective interpersonal skills as teams will spend hundreds of hours working together. O’Dowd Mock Trial members have gone on to top colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU, Tufts, Georgetown, as well as the UC system.  Many students have continued with Mock Trial at the collegiate and law school level, which is even more competitive.  Each year several Mock Trial alums continue on and are selected as members of their college mock trial team.  Currently we have alums on the teams of UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, University of Oregon and others.   Many have pursued careers in law, while others are now engaged in careers from theatre to public policy advocacy to education.

Students and parents with questions can contact the Mock Trial Teacher/Coach, Ms. Bonnie Sussman at

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