Cleveland Mock Trial

“The only exposure I had to the legal field was from television shows such as Law & Order. Mock Trial allowed me to come face to face with the career I have always known I wanted to pursue. For me, Mock Trial was not just a competition in high school. Mock Trial was the most important building block that solidified my passion to pursue law and become a lawyer. Not only did Mock Trial introduce me to mentors and legal professionals, but it also ignited a fire in me that still burns today."  --Tiana Bohanon, Cleveland State University Class of 2016

The Cleveland Mock Trial Competition gives Cleveland high school students a chance to prepare their best legal arguments for an exciting day of competition with their peers each year in the spring. Coached by volunteer attorneys and law students, the teams take turns representing the prosecution and defense in a criminal appeal, giving them the opportunity both to hone their legal skills and to learn more about important issues facing teens today. The top attorneys, witness, and essay writer are rewarded with a paid summer internship at the Cleveland Municipal Court.

In years past the topics have included police encounters, charges of hazing, driving while texting, bullying, misdemeanor child endangerment, and criminal stalking. This year’s case focuses on the opioid crisis, including criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter and drug trafficking. The hypothetical was created by past mock trial participants and Stokes Scholars Xavier Thomas-Hughes and Dairian Heard. 

Join us in 2018!

Volunteer legal advisers and judicial panelists are invited to participate in this year's competition, which will take place in the Cleveland Municipal Court on May 11, 2018. Judges, attorneys, and law students are needed as legal advisers to work in teams with classroom teachers and help coach students on trial procedure in the weeks leading up to the Competition. No litigation experience? No problem! Experienced volunteers are on hand top guide and support you every step of the way. Volunteers are also encouraged to join us on Competition day as judicial panelists to help score the trials -- click here to sign up today (judges, attorneys, law students, and other legal professionals welcome).

If you would like to volunteer as legal adviser or judicial panelist, please contact Jessica Paine by email or calling (216) 696-3525. 


2017 Competition

Congratulations to the more than 300 students, volunteers, and supporters who participated in the 2017 Cleveland Mock Trial Competition at the Justice Center on May 5, 2017! The CMBA extends special thanks to the more than 40 volunteers who served as legal advisors and judicial panelists, as well as the Cleveland Municipal Court for all its help and support that make the competition possible. Sixteen teams from Cleveland and East Cleveland brought their peak game to the Justice Center, competing both as prosecution and defense in morning and afternoon trials. The 2017 competition involved criminal charges for a high school student accused of illegally hacking into a teacher’s computer, in a special case hypothetical written by past mock trial all-star and Stokes Scholar Conner Hill.
Special congratulations to the top teams from the 2017 Competition, as well as to students from Facing History New Tech, Shaw, and Bard Early College, who were recognized as Outstanding Attorneys, Witness, and Writer.

  • First Place: John Hay – Cleveland School of Science & Medicine
  • Second Place: John Marshall – Team Honors
  • Third Place: NewTech West – Team #1

To see more video of the mock trial in action, click here.

The Cleveland Mock Trial Competition is a program of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, with funding support provided by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation.

The CMBF is a 501(c)(3) organization; gifts to it are tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

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