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What does NUMT stand for?

Northwestern University Mock Trial! 

What even is Mock Trial?

Mock Trial is an intercollegiate competition among schools who are members of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), founded in 1985. Today, over 350 schools nationwide are members of AMTA, with over 700 teams competing every year. Northwestern has finished in the top 10 of those 700 teams for the past two years.

At the beginning of each year, teams are given a fictional legal case, complete with witness affidavits and applicable case law. Mock Trial uses the Federal Rules of Evidence. The case can be either criminal or civil, alternating each year. This variation gives students insights into two different fields of law. As with any legal case, there is a prosecution (or, in a civil case, a plaintiff) and a defense. Students from one member school represent one side and compete against students from another school who present the opposing side. 

Mock trial is a creative outlet for anyone interested in public speaking, critical thinking, acting, and so much more -- regardless of career interests! It allows students the opportunity to learn how to construct speeches, showcase and improve their public speaking skills in front of real-life judges and attorneys, and perform as a variety of different characters in a unique performance setting. 

Woah. That sounds really complicated. What if I've never done Mock Trial before?

No experience? No worries! We pride our program on being one where we are able to help students build from the ground up. We'll teach you all the ins and outs of Mock Trial, and you'll become a pro before you know it!

Do I have to want to go to law school to do Mock Trial?

Nope! If you love to act, want to build your public speaking skills, or want to gain some real-world experience, NUMT is the place for you! If you check out our members pages, you'll find people from all majors -- from Computer Science to Math to Journalism to Political Science to Economics!

So what will my role be?

You will have the role of lawyer, witness, or both. 

What does a lawyer do?

As a lawyer, you will learn how to conduct direct examinations, respond to objections, argue in front of a judge, conduct cross examinations, and present opening statements and closing arguments to the court.

What does a witness do?

As a witness, you will learn how to portray a character. These personas will range from quirky to sad to academic. You will learn how to remain a composed presenter on the witness stand (many actors enjoy being witnesses) and how to give trouble to opposing lawyers during cross-examination.

What will I gain as a part of NUMT?

You’ll improve your public speaking skills, you’ll think critically and creatively about the law, morals, and logic, and you’ll also learn how to craft a speech (not just how to present one). But most importantly, you’ll meet a second family. We don't just see each other at practices and tournaments--we love spending time together! You’ll be hard-pressed to find a tighter-knit group on this campus.

What's the time commitment like?

We meet on Wednesdays from 7-10pm at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, where we receive guidance from our coaches. Teams will meet at least one other time during the week on the Evanston campus. During competition weeks, teams will likely meet 3-4 times to ensure they've perfected everything. The total time commitment ranges, but typically is 12-15 hours a week.

Do we travel for competitions?

Yes! You'll have the opportunity to go to at least one far place, like San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, New York, or Washington, D.C., and at least one local place, like Iowa, Michigan, or Indiana.

We usually leave on Fridays and come back on Sunday nights on competition weekends.

How much does it cost to be in NUMT?

Membership dues are $180 for the whole year. We cover ground transportation, hotel costs, and one group dinner per tournament. You'll have to cover anything additional for airfare costs and meals. We do have financial aid available for those who cannot cover all of the costs! Cost will never be a barrier to your participation.

What do tryouts consist of?

Check out our "Join" page for more info!

Can I follow you on social media?

Yes! Click on the "f" on the lower bar of the website, or check out our page here! You can also follow us on Instagram @northwesternmocktrial and on Twitter @gocatsmocktrial.

What kind of music do you guys listen to?

Check out our Spotify playlist of our NUMT Pump-Up Songs by clicking on the Spotify sign below, or check it out here!

I have more questions. Who do I ask?

Feel free to click the letter symbol below and shoot us an email at northwesternmt@gmail.com! We're always happy to answer any questions.