The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities for 2013-2014

About the Competition

Roll your mouse over the United States and see where the past 29 National Championships have been hosted.

The national mock trial championship was initiated in 1984 in Des Moines, Iowa, with teams from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin participating. After the success of the tournament in Iowa, more states became interested in participating and the tournament became billed as an "All-State" Tournament.

The competition then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska (1985) and involved 10 states. Subsequent tournaments have been held in Phoenix, Arizona (1986); Washington, D.C. (1987); Dallas, Texas (1988); Louisville, Kentucky (1989) - the first "National High School Mock Trial Championship"; Portland, Oregon (1990); New Orleans, Louisiana (1991); Madison, Wisconsin (1992); Atlanta, Georgia (1993); Chicago, Illinois (1994); Denver, Colorado (1995); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1996); Nashville, Tennessee (1997); Albuquerque, New Mexico (1998); St. Louis, Missouri (1999); Columbia, South Carolina (2000); Omaha, Nebraska (2001); St. Paul, Minnesota (2002); New Orleans, Louisiana (2003); Orlando, Florida (2004); Charlotte, North Carolina (2005); Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (2006); Dallas, Texas (2007); Wilmington, Delaware (2008), Atlanta, Georgia (2009), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2010), Phoenix, Arizona (2011) and Albuquerque, New Mexico (2012). The tournament is hosted annually by different states to ensure that the cost of running the tournament doesn't fall disproportionately on any particular state.

This year's competition in Phoenix, Arizona, included a total of 48 teams including Australia, Guam, South Korea, the Commonwealth of Northern Marianna Islands, and State Champion teams from across the country. Future sites include Indianapolis, Indiana (2013) and Madison, Wisconsin (2013).

Membership Fee (due January 15) and Tournament Registration Fee

As a reminder, in order to be eligible to participate at Nationals, each state, territory or country is required to pay a Membership Fee. The fee is $250 and is due by January 15th. This membership fee is separate and in addition to a team's $500 tournament registration fee.

Both fees are required for participation in the tournament. The funds collected through this membership fee have been earmarked specifically for costs borne by NHSMTC, Inc. for hosting or aiding in the hosting of the national championship.

Payment can be made to NHSMTC and mailed to NHSMTC Treasurer Susan Roberts:
Susan K. Roberts
National High School Mock Trial Championship, Inc.
P.O. Box 63
Lafayette, IN 47902-0063

An original (and very popular) DVD is available from the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia. It can serve as an excellent resource for any school, coach, or attorney-coach in developing a program and for use in team training. The teaching film is approximately 60 minutes long and will take teams step-by-step through a mock trial. The DVD is also suitable for use in a law-related class. It features interviews with students, teacher, attorney coaches and supporters of the mock trial competition in Georgia, and trial footage.

Order form for "May It Please the Court" Mock Trial Video (DVD)(82 kb)

A one-minute, thirty-second video clip showing High School Mock Trial in action - courtesy of Georgia State Bar.

Click here for the NHSMTC, Inc. By-Laws (May 2012).

The National High School Mock Trial Championship has been held over Mother´s Day weekend each year for over two decades. The schedule devised for the tournament was created and is currently in use in an effort to:
  • maximize the participation of state mock trial programs across the nation and around the world
  • maintain a level playing field for all teams registered for the competition
  • maintain the integrity of the scoring system
  • minimize time out of class for students and teachers
  • minimize conflict with academic testing
  • maximize the availability of real courtroom space for tournament rounds
  • maximize the availability of judging panel volunteers with the requisite high school mock trial experience
  • maximize the number of potential future host cities
  • maximize the availability of a large block of hotel space during the busy spring convention/prom/tourist season in many cities
Over three years of planning on the part of each host committee goes into each national tournament. The identities of the full field of competitors are not known until mid-April in the year that the tournament is held in early May. During the three years a host committee prepares to host the national tournament, state coordinators are provided with planning updates and schedule information in the bi-annual tournament newsletter, on the NHSMTC website, on a dedicated tournament host committee website and by verbal reports to the state coordinators gathered for the organization´s annual business meeting each May. State mock trial programs are fully aware of the each national tournament schedule well in advance of starting their state mock trial season each school year.

The Generic National Tournament Schedule

Wednesday of Tournament Week

  • (all day) Practice/Scrimmage rooms available at the host hotel (optional for all teams)

Thursday of Tournament Week

  • (all day) Practice/Scrimmage rooms available at the host hotel (optional for all teams)
  • (morning) NHSMTC, Inc. Board of Directors Meeting (required attendance for board members)
  • (afternoon) State Coordinator’s Round Table Discussion (optional attendance for state coordinators)
  • (afternoon) State Coordinator’s Meeting (required attendance for state coordinators)
  • (afternoon) Coach Orientation Meeting (attendance strongly suggested for at least 1 coach/team)
  • (afternoon) Timekeeper Orientation (required attendance for all student timekeepers)
  • (evening) Team Welcome Reception/Pin Exchange (official opening event of the national tournament for teams)

Friday of Tournament Week

  • (morning) Preliminary Round 1
  • (afternoon) Preliminary Round 2
  • (evening) Team Social Event

Saturday of Tournament Week

  • (morning) Preliminary Round 3
  • (afternoon) Preliminary Round 4
  • (afternoon) Announcement of Two Finalist Teams
  • (afternoon/evening) Championship Round
  • (evening) Awards Banquet

Sunday of Tournament Week

  • (morning) Team scoresheets available for pick-up
Denver, Colorado 1995 Chicago, Illinois 1994 Atlanta, Georgia 1993 and 2009 Madison, Wisconsin 1992 New Orleans, Lousiana 1991 and 2003 Portland, Oregon 1990 Louisville, Kentucky 1989 Dallas, Texas 1988 and 2007 Washington, DC 1987 Phoenix, Arizona 1986 and 2011 Lincoln, Nebraska 1985 and Omaha, Nebraska 2001 Des Moines, Iowa 1984 Pittsburgh 1996 and Philadelphia 2010 Nashville, Tennessee 1997 Albuquerque, New Mexico 1998 and 2012 St. Louis, Missouri 1999 Columbia, South Carolina 2000 St. Paul, Minnesota 2002 Orlando, Florida 2004 Charlotte, North Carolina 2005 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2006 Wilmington, Delaware 2008