Mock Trial Academy

MOCK TRIAL ACADEMY: June 16 through June 23, 2019
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 120 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. 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)

Our Program
The Mock Trial Academy is a one-week residential program for students to learn about civil and criminal advocacy. 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. In past summers, 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 16: Students move in
  • June 17 – 21: Advocacy classes and case preparation
  • June 22: Trial performance 
  • June 23: Students move out by 12 pm.  

Day Schedule

  • A typical day will begin with a group breakfast from 8-9 a.m. 
  • From 9 am – 12 pm, 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 pm, students will eat together in the campus dining facilities.
  • From 1 – 4 pm, 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 pm is supervised free time.
  • 5 – 6 pm is dinner in small groups.
  • 6 – 9pm each evening will involve group social activities (Mock Trial Mafia, Ultimate Frisbee Games, Movie Nights)
  • 9 – 10:30 pm 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 2019 or Fall of 2020 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.


How to Apply
Applications are available here
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 31.
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 30.
Full payment is due by May 31.