Sun Devil Mock Trial team argues for a place at the top

With the help of more coaches and more teams, ASU's mock trial team prepares for the competitive season

Among the many clubs at ASU that are seeking new recruits, there is one club that argues to be the best. 

The Sun Devil Mock Trial team is a competitive collegiate organization that tests students' knowledge on real court cases. Sophomore philosophy major and team president Elana Quint said all students are welcome to join.

“We encourage students of all undergraduate backgrounds to join," she said. "We’re going to set a whole new tone on what mock trial really is. Our members prepare over the summer by interning at law firms and taking speaking courses."

Now, the team is working towards competing on the national level. The 2018 National Championship Tournament (NCT) in being held at Hamline University in Minneapolis and the ASU team hopes to be there.

The tournament is hosted by the American Mock Trial Association, the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competition. At the tournament, 48 nationally-ranked teams will go head-to-head in tests of knowledge over trial cases until only two teams, which will face off in the final round, remain.

"Presently, AMTA hosts 25 regional tournaments, eight opening round championship tournaments and a national championship tournament each season," according to AMTA's official website. "Approximately 600 teams from over 350 universities and colleges will compete in these tournaments.  In total, AMTA provides a forum for over 5,300 undergraduate students each academic year to engage in intercollegiate mock trial competitions across the country." 

Garrison Murphy, a journalism junior and two-year returning member of the club said ASU's mock trial team spends 3-4 days a week prepping for the big day.

“Last year my team made it to the ORC (Opening Round Championship Series), which is the level right below Nationals," Murphy said. "There is so much talent returning to the team this year and I think we’re going to be great. The whole thing is super competitive and important to us, it’s as close to the real deal as it can get.”

The team has added new members, three new coaches and two additional squads to bolster the team's potential success.

Justice studies sophomore and returning member Jackelyne Arevalo said that this year, her eye is on the prize.

“Last year I was still learning the ropes of things, but this year my goal is to win an award,” she said.

Editors Note: Garrison Murphy previously worked for The State Press but is no longer employed by the publication.

Reach the reporter at or follow @sarahlapp14 on Twitter

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