Open main menu

Williams College Mock Trial & Moot Court

The Williams College Mock Trial/Moot Court Team is a program of the Williams College Law Society, and is associated with the American Collegiate Moot Court Association, and the American Mock Trial Association.

What is Mock Trial?

Mock Trial is a competitive trial simulation. We compete with other colleges all across the nation on a realistic case involving civil or criminal charges. Each college prepares their case as if it were a real trial case in a U.S. Court by, choosing their witnesses, creating direct and cross examinations, opening statements, closing arguments, and objections.

Each Team of 7-10 members consists of 3 attorneys, 3 witnesses, 1-2 timekeepers, and alternate witnesses/attorneys. The attorneys for each team must abide by the rules of evidence created by AMTA (They are very similar to the Federal Rules of Evidence). Witnesses get to interpret their affidavits in conjunction with the case and create a persona that makes each witness unique.

What is Moot Court?

Moot Court is a simulation of an appellate court proceeding, also known as mock Supreme Court. Moot Court involves teams of two student-contestants competing in front of a panel of judges, with briefs and oratory detailing the dimensions of the legal problem before the appellate court. Students argue a hypothetical legal case known as the competition case. To do so, students must research the cases and laws cited in the competition case. Moot court judges ask students questions and grade the students on the basis of their knowledge of the case, their response to questioning, their forensic skills, and their demeanor. Oral argument lasts 40 minutes (each side gets 20 minutes) and each student is expected to speak for a minimum of 7 minutes.

Moot court is used as an educational tool around the world, and tournaments are currently organized in the United States, in Great Britain, in Canada, in Australia, in New Zealand, and in a number of other countries. Moot court has been featured in legal training for hundreds of years, with origins in medieval England.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a team competition that consists of acting out three roles: Mediator, Attorney/Advocate, and Client, a simulated practicum in real-world mediation that will aid students in whatever career path they choose. The intent of the tournament is to give students a real life experience as mediator and as an attorney and client. These competitions are designed to help undergraduate students understand the value of resolving disputes through mediation. The competitions also help students develop mediation skills so that they are better equipped at resolving both personal and professional disputes through mediation.Three students make up a team, (although there may be up to two alternates per team) and each student must participate as mediator in one of three preliminary rounds. Students participating have the opportunity to receive All-American recognition. The season begins in the early fall with practices and the review of case materials, and then a National Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament in November. The InterNational Academy of Dispute Resolution sponsors the undergraduate and law school mediation tournaments, and provides mediators to train students as well as judge the rounds.

2016-2017 Captains

Law Teams Director: Reed Sawyers (jrs9)

Moot Court Coach: Andrew Giarolo

Mock Trial Captain: Chrisleine Temple (cjt1) and Mason Wong (mlw4)

Moot Court Captain: Mary Beth Dato (mjd3)

Mediation Captain: Minwei Cao (mc11)

Who can join the Team and how?

Any active Williams College student can join. Majors, Concentrations, etc. are not constraints. We seek out charismatic, well spoken people who can think on their feet. Simply contact us

For more info, visit our website:

Check us out on facebook:

Or on Twitter: