History at the University of Saint Thomas
The University of St. Thomas has been affiliated with the American Mock Trial Association for 25 years. AMTA is a national organization of over 250 colleges and universities where one or more teams from each school compete at invitational, regional-qualifying and national tournaments from November through April. Participants learn trial advocacy skills both as witnesses and attorneys in hypothetical criminal and civil cases. In 1987 UST (then the College of St. Thomas) won the national championship and placed second as national runner-up in 1989. A St. Thomas team placed sixth nationally in 2004, also claiming numerous regional championships and individual outstanding attorney and witness awards through the years.
Mock Trial is an extra-curricular activity at St. Thomas. Participants learn trial advocacy skills as witnesses and as attorneys within the framework of the U.S. Federal Rules of Evidence. Coaches are trial attorneys, nearly all of whom competed as “Tommy Mockers” before completing law school and launching a career. All have expressed interest in contributing their time and talent to give something back to the program which has so positively influenced their subsequent success.
Any St. Thomas undergraduate student who would like to learn more about UST Mock Trial should contact Dr. Kathleen Winters the faculty coordinator of the program who is an assitant professor in the Department of Political Science. The fall and spring Campus Activities Fairs also serve as excellent opportunities for students to meet current leaders of the St. Thomas Pre-Law Society and to sign-up for Mock Trial. The event is generally held early in the fall semester; check the Department’s website for this year’s event.
Further information is available at the website of American Mock Trial Association.
The 2014-2015 Mock Trial Team represented UST at five tournaments this year, with their highest placement coming in as 2nd place at both the U of M's Mock Trial Battle and the UST Hatting Invitational. The Team also won a Spirit of AMTA award, which is given for outstanding sportsmanship, at the Durst Memorial Invitational. Individually, eight different students earned awards in at least one of the tournaments, either as an attorney or as a witness. Congratulations to the entire 2014-2015 team are in order, as well as best wishes to the graduating seniors - you will be missed! And of course, a bit thank you to our coaches (and UST alums), Cory and John Monnens.
Given the number of graduating seniors, the Mock Trial Team is very interested in having new members join for the 2015-2016 competition season. More information will be provided at the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester, so if you're considering joining check back at the beginning of September. In the meantime, you can also contact MockTrial@stthomas.edu for more information or to be put in touch with current team members to hear what they have to say about Mock Trial.