Mock Trial Academy

MOCK TRIAL ACADEMY: JUNE 17th through July 8, 2018
Presented by the Rhodes College Institute for Legal Studies

Who Are We?
Rhodes College Mock Trial is the nation’s most successful collegiate mock trial program. Last year, our team qualified for its 32nd consecutive National Championship Tournament. Since our founding in 1987, we have been in 8 national championship rounds, won 4 national championship titles, produced more than 70 All-Americans, and earned 10 Reynoldson Coaching Awards. Our program’s founder, Dr. Marcus Pohlmann, is a Hall of Fame coach and a Past President of the American Mock Trial Association. 

What is the Mock Trial Academy?
To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Rhodes Mock Trial, we started a mock trial academy for talented high school mock trial students from all over the country.  As we have developed the program over the past three years, we have decided to offer students the chance to study on campus for either one, two, or three weeks.  Students will have the opportunity to work with experienced coaches, who have a demonstrated record of success developing skills in public speaking and presentation, and learn how to effectively present an argument and develop an understanding of constitutional laws related to the judicial system.

Our Teaching Staff

Anna Eldridge, Esq.
Academy Director
B.A. Rhodes College
J.D. Duke University School of Law
All-American Mock Trial Attorney
National Finalist
Reynoldson Award-Winning Coach
American Mock Trial Association Board of Directors 2014-2017 (Executive Committee Member, Case Committee Member, Chair of the Competition Response Committee)

Dr. Marcus Pohlmann
B.A. Cornell College
Ph.D. Columbia University
American Mock Trial Association Coaches Hall of Fame
American Mock Trial Association Board of Directors (Director Emeritus, Past President)
8-Time Winner of the Reynoldson Award for Coaching
Neal Smith Award for Legal Education

Our Program
The Mock Trial Academy is a three week residential program for students to learn about civil, criminal, and appellate advocacy.  Interested students can apply to attend any one of the weeks or have the option to apply to experience all three weeks.  Each week will be dedicated to a different case and area of law.

Students will live on campus with other students participating in the program, be supervised by current national team members of the Rhodes Mock Trial Program, and work inside and outside the classroom to develop skills in trial advocacy. 

In addition to daily classes, students will have the opportunity to learn more about the city of Memphis.  Last summer our students met with both state and federal court judges, toured the National Civil Rights Museum, and visited the site where Elvis recorded his first album. 

Program Schedule

  • June 17: Civil Case Students move in
  • June 18 - 22: Civil Case Classes
  • June 23: Civil Trial performance
  • June 24: Civil Trial Students move out by 12 pm. 
  • June 24: Criminal Trial Students move in
  • June 25 – 29: Criminal Trial Classes
  • June 30: Criminal Trial Performance
  • July 1: Criminal Trial move out by 12 pm
  • July 1: Appellate Advocacy Students move in
  • July 2-6: Appellate Classes
  • July 7: Oral Arguments
  • July 8: All students move out by 12 pm

Day Schedule

  • A typical day will begin with a group breakfast from 8-9 a.m. 
  • From 9 a.m.-12 p.m. students will study theories of advocacy and criminal trial rights through a combination of lectures on the constitutional theories behind rights of confrontation and the federal rules of evidence, group work, and practical application.
  • From 12-1 p.m. students will eat together in the campus dining facilities.
  • From 1-4 p.m. students will work on preparing openings, closings, directs, and cross examinations based on a fact pattern, with assistance from both our instructors and teaching assistants.
  • 4-5 p.m. is supervised free time.
  • 5-6 p.m. is dinner in small groups.
  • 6-9 p.m. each evening will involve group social activities (Mock Trial Mafia, Ultimate Frisbee Games, Movie Nights)
  • 9-10:30 p.m. is supervised free time.
  • 10:30 pm is lights out.

The Trials
On the last day of each academy week, students will perform a full trial that will be open to invited guests (parents and friends), have a small award ceremony, and earn their Academy Certificate of Completion. Students who receive an Academy Certificate of Completion who attend Rhodes in the Fall of 2018 or Fall of 2019 will be exempt from the requirement to take POLS 262 Trial Procedures in order to try out for the mock trial team.

Students will be expected to bring writing material (notebook paper, legal pads) and professional attire for the final trial, as well as some fun, costume options for those interested in witness roles. All books, case materials, and exhibits will be provided by the academy and will be available for the students to keep.

One week: $1300

Two weeks: $2000

Three weeks: $2500


While we do not offer a formal financial aid package at this time, students who need financial assistance may submit a request for financial aid, a two page personal statement on why they are passionate about studying law, and a teacher recommendation. These essays should be submitted to Professor Eldridge via email upon acceptance to the program.

How to Apply
Applications are available here.  Students should indicate on their application whether they wish to attend 1, 2, or 3 weeks and list the weeks according to preference.
Mock trial experience is not required.
Application deadline for early decision is March 1.  Early decision acceptances will be sent out by March 15.  To hold your early decision seat, you must submit a non-refundable $200 deposit by March 31st.
Regular application deadline is April 1.  Decisions will be sent out by April 15.  Regular application seats must be secured with a non-refundable $200 deposit by April 30th.
Full payment is due by May 31.