At the University of Illinois Trial Team, our mission is…
to provide an opportunity for students to acquire a command of trial advocacy, litigation and legal tactics, the American criminal justice system, and critical thinking skills through college mock trial competitions.
Founded in 1989 by two U of I students…
The Illinois Trial Team quickly became part of a nationwide movement of college mock trial.
Several years later, the organization of over fifty students was consolidated and refined by U of I Professor Joseph Wenzel.
Today, the Illinois Trial Team organization consists of four teams of eight to ten members.
These teams compete all over the country from California to Massachusetts against a wide variety of legalistic styles and schools.
A Year With the Illinois Trial Team
While what happens year to year might change a bit, our general schedule typically looks like this.
We’re comprised of 4 teams.
For the first part of the season, the organization breaks up into four teams.
These teams are composed of an even number of experienced and inexperienced members.
This division provides an opportunity for all new members to learn rules, techniques, and skills from trial veterans.
It also gives captains a chance to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each member.
In the second and longest part of the season, members will be “stacked” into four tiered teams: Blue, Orange, Silver, and Gold
Blue is our 1st-seed team, or our most competitive and high-commitment team.
Orange is our 2nd-seed team.
Silver is our 3rd-seed team.
Gold is our 4th-seed, lower-commitment developmental team. This allows members an opportunity to to develop new skills at a slower pace with more instruction.
In the final part of the season, all four teams compete for bids to the regional and national tournaments.
As some teams qualify and others do not, some members may be re-stacked again to send a full roster to these tournaments.