History of the Stanford Law School Mock Trial Team
The 2004 Stanford Law School Mock Trial Team The Mock Trial team was founded by Suzanne Bratis (SLS '05) and Dave Nelmark (SLS '05) in the fall of 2003. A chance conversation on the way home from a hockey game led Suzanne and Dave to realize that there was a need for an organization which would support trial advocacy skills and practice at Stanford Law School.
The 2003-2004 competitive season featured the school's first appearance at the ATLA Student Trial Advocacy Competition (ATLA STAC) regional tournament in Santa Monica, CA.
In 2004-2005 the Stanford Law School Mock Trial program expanded to compete at the American Bar Association Mock Trial Tournament in Chicago, Illinois. This was the first criminal law competition that the program competed in. In February of 2005 Stanford sent two teams to the ATLA STAC regional tournament in Santa Monica, CA. The team designated "Stanford 2" took first place and went on to represent the Western Region at the ATLA National Championships in West Palm Beach, FL.
In 2005-2006 the program again continued to grow, fielding 5 ATLA teams and fielding its first TYLA teams. In February two teams traveled to Spokane, Washington to represent Stanford at its first Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) Mock Trial Invitational. The Stanford Invitational also continued to grow, with teams now traveling from as far as Georgetown (DC) to participate in the annual mock trial tournament.
In 2006-2007 the program achieved its first top finish at a national tournament, fielding 2 ATLA teams and two TYLA teams. Team "AAJ 1" qualified for the semifinals of the AAJ Regional. And in February, team "TYLA 1" qualified to represent Region 13 at the TYLA National Championships. That team went on to make the quarterfinals and tied for fifth overall, placing Stanford on the trial advocacy map.
In 2008-2009 the program reached new heights, fielding two teams at TYLA and AAJ (the new name for ATLA). In February two teams competed at the Region 13 TYLA Qualifier. Both teams reached the semifinals, and team "TYLA 1" qualified for the TYLA National Championships. Not to be outdone, both AAJ teams made the semifinals at the Las Vegas, NV Regional, and team "AAJ 1" qualified for the AAJ National Championship after winning the regional tournament outright. This year was the first year Stanford made appearances at both national tournaments. The Stanford Invitational also continued to grow, with a Stanford team finishing third overall.
In 2009-10 the program reached its highest level of success to date, again fielding two teams at TYLA and AAJ. The Stanford Invitational went on a one-year hiatus because Stanford was asked to host the Region 13 TYLA Qualifier. For the second straight year, both teams reached the semifinals and team "TYLA 1" qualified for the TYLA National Championship. At the AAJ regional, team "AAJ 1" made it to the final, and lost an extremely close round to out-of-region rival Barry University. In the postseason, Stanford achieved its greatest success to date. Team "TYLA 1" made it to the finals of the TYLA National Championship, finishing in second place overall. Additionally, the American College of Trial Lawyers recognized one of Stanford's team members as the tournament's best advocate. This finish announced Stanford's arrival as a trial advocacy powerhouse -- a reputation the program hopes to cement in the coming years.
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NB: This is the home page for the Stanford Law School Mock Trial Program. The undergraduate mock trial team may be contacted at http://www.stanford.edu/group/mocktrial/ .