Seniors Lead Mock Trial Team to Nationals


The 2021-22 Seattle Prep Mock Trial Team. The team won their 15th State Championship this year.

Eamon Mohrbacher, Staff Writer

15 trips to Nationals, 15 State Championships, a National Championship: these statistics may seem impossible, but are very real and speak volumes about the success of Seattle Prep’s Mock Trial team. Program Head Ms. Freeman described one of Prep’s most winningest programs that provides students the opportunity to assume the role of lawyers and witnesses in realistic court cases: “It’s intellectual combat rather than physical combat, but it is combat nonetheless.” In 2022, the Mock Trial team clinched the State Championship for the second year in a row, and their eighth championship in the last ten years. In addition, this talented team earned 10th place at the National Competition. It is their 11th top ten finish in their last 15 national appearances.

Mock Trial offers students a look at possibilities for their futures. Senior Maia Miller explained, “Mock trial has given me a passion for law and advocacy and a sense of what I want to accomplish with a possible career in law too. It has given me a sense of purpose at Prep and been an escape from homework and the other stresses of school.”

Mock Trial is different from many teams at Prep, as it takes part in a classroom or courtroom, rather than a field or court. However, it teaches and offers similar values of collaboration and teamwork, while adding to students’ experience at Prep in unique ways. Miller continues, “What makes Mock Trial different is our unique place at Prep and the community we’ve formed within it. Unlike sports teams, we basically practice for months and months without seeing the reward of a “game” every week, so we really have the time to perfect our roles in every way before finally competing in January. I think everyone on the team can agree that there’s something really addictive about mock trial, and even though it’s seen as “extra homework,” our commitment to being the best we can be and immersing ourselves in the case makes us all really passionate about mock trial.”

Miller’s senior teammate, Daniela Castillo added, “Getting to compete in a real courtroom is front of a judge and attorneys to rate you is really special and everyone on the team has become what Mr. McCarthy likes to call “a dysfunctional family.”

One thing that is especially clear is the tight-knit community that Mock Trial has built. Samuel McGee ’22 explained, “From what I’ve seen with other sports there isn’t nearly as much friendliness across borders like varsity, JV, and green. In mock trial, it’s like these boundaries don’t exist beyond actual competition. Everyone helps everyone to achieve their best work.”

The team’s talent, hard work, and strong bond have lifted them to another incredible season. Mrs. Freeman praised the team, saying, “We have a lot of people who are really good by virtue of persistence and hard work, and just refusing to say die.”

She continues, “I think we have some people on this team in particular who have overcome fears, overcome things they didn’t know, overcome all sorts of things to be excellent, really excellent.”

Castillo expanded, noting, “Winning state and going to the National competition was obviously a really big accomplishment, but I think our sweep at the district competition meant a lot more to the team. It has been a while since all three of the teams have placed in the top three at the district competition and it was especially meaningful for the freshman to place third and see that all their hard work paid off. The sweep was testament not only to our hard work but the strength of the entirety of the Seattle Prep Mock Trial program.”

Seniors in particular have grown personally as a result of Mock Trial. Miller expressed, “My biggest takeaway will definitely be the passion for advocacy, justice, and confidence that mock trial has given me. I’m definitely a lot more outspoken than I used to be and better at thinking on my feet, and I have a new appreciation for the legal system too.”

Mrs. Freeman applauds her senior leaders, “They’re really good at it, but not because it was easy.”

The Seniors will be missed greatly by the Mock Trial team and the whole Prep community. They have helped set the standards for hard work, setting and accomplishing goals, stepping out of your comfort zone, and competing for championships at every level. Surely, they will take these characteristics and use them to succeed in their stage of life.