Cresson, Pa. — Mock Trial is new to Mount Aloysius College, so competing colleges from around the country may have anticipated easy wins. That didn’t happen. Long practice sessions, tough-minded focus and old-fashioned hard work are paying off for the “out of the gate” startup mock- barristers from a small town in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. Like most intercollegiate competition, much pride is at stake; but instead of cracked bats and bruised ribs there can be bruised egos, red faces and the snap of a stuffed briefcase. The common ground however, is preparation.
Attorney David Andrews, who left his law firm in 2016 to come to Mount Aloysius, teaches several courses in the Mount Aloysius MBA and undergraduate programs. He launched the College’s fledgling Mock Trial team just last season and serves as Head Coach.
“I am very pleased with the progress of our Mock Trial Team at this point of the season,” said Attorney Andrews. “We’ve been successful in national tournaments and, unlike college sports where Division III teams compete exclusively against other Division III teams; in Mock Trial we have gone up against some of the best schools in the country ─ Division I if you will ─ and we competed toe-to-toe.”
Intercollegiate Mock Trial is structured around rules established by The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). The AMTA governs intercollegiate mock trial competition. Competition ─ actively engaging in trial simulations ─ is fierce.
Attorney Andrews has a long history with Mock Trial competition and his team members at Mount Aloysius College are eager to learn. “Mock Trial is an extremely valuable competition,” added Attorney Andrews, “since no matter what a student does after graduation, it is important to have good communication skills and be able to respond quickly on your feet.
“Mount Aloysius Mock Trial students develop critical thinking and public speaking skills, as well as knowledge of legal practices and procedures,” added Andrews.
The most recent Mock Trial competition at Carnegie Mellon University featured teams from 13 states, representing Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Missouri, and others.
“We competed against Penn State, Hamline University from Minnesota, the University of Dayton, and Eastern Michigan University,” said Andrews. “Our next competition in January will be at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Our team will then enter the National American Mock Trial Association Tournament in regional competition in February. We are all looking forward to the competition,” Andrews said.
The competitive world of AMTA hosts 25 regional tournaments, eight opening round championship tournaments and a national championship tournament each season. Approximately 600 teams from over 350 universities and colleges 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.
Mount Aloysius team members include: Tessa Boyles, Beaverdale, Pa.; Teresa Goc, York, Pa.; David Regala, Ebensburg, Pa.; John Branick, Ebensburg, Pa.; Krista Wenturine. Nicktown, Pa.; Rachael Moreland, Gallitzin, Pa.; Joshua Devlin, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Jessica Bressler, Julian, Pa.; Mandie Leithner, Ridgway, Pa.; Gracie Arbitell, Allentown, NJ; Mariya Kozhukh, Portage, Pa.; Jordan Terry, Portland, TN; and Ross Bebout, Bedford, Pa. Assisting Head Mock Trial Coach Andrews is Assistant Coach Rachel Cain, of Cresson, Pa.