Promoting an understanding and appreciation
of the American judicial system through
academic competitions and other endeavors for students

Courtroom Artist Contest

2017 - Adeline Wang, CA.jpg
Adeline Wang, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, CA
2017 Courtroom Artist Contest National Champion

The Courtroom Artist Contest is a competition that allows artistically talented students the opportunity to participate in the Mock Trial Program. Contestants will attend NHSMTC with their state team and create a drawing of the courtroom scene during their team's Round 3 trial. Each state with a Courtroom Artist Contest is eligible to send their state champion courtroom artist to compete at the NHSMTC Courtroom Artist Contest. The top three entries will be acknowledged at the NHSMTC Awards Ceremony.

The official rules can be found in Section 7 of the Rules of the Competition


  • All contestants must have participated in a Courtroom Artist Competition in their state (at any level).
  • All participants must pay a $75.00 registration fee and register as a member of your state’s team and as your state’s official courtroom artist.
  • All participants agree to the publication or reprinting of their artwork for educational purposes. No financial compensation will be awarded.
  • All contestants must watch the courtroom artist video (a link to the webcast will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the competition).

 Contest Procedures:

  • The official courtroom artist contest drawings will be produced in Round 3. Contestants may practice drawing in Rounds 1 and 2, in the courtroom where their team is competing.
  • The sketch must depict an actual courtroom scene that you observe during your state’s Round 3 trial.
  • During the trial, introduce yourself to the scorers, say your name and identify yourself as the courtroom artist. Do not say what state or school you are from.
  • You may sit in the jury box away from scorers if available. You must wear your nametag.
  • Once the trial begins, you may not move about the courtroom. Artists may not communicate, either verbally or non-verbally, with any member of the Mock Trial teams or any visitors in the courtroom during the trial rounds.
  • At the end of Round 3, give your drawing to the Presiding Judge or the Courtroom Liaison. Only drawings submitted to the Presiding Judge or the Courtroom Liaison will be entered in the contest.

Drawing Parameters:

  •  The art submission may be done in color or in black and white
  • The drawing must be on paper of the dimensions 11” X 14”, in a horizontal format.
  • The drawing may be done in any of the following mediums: Color pencil, pen and ink, pastel, marker. No watercolors or paint are allowed.
  • The art submission must have the artist’s name and team code placed on the back of the sketch; no signatures on the front of the submission are allowed

Judging Components

  • Sketches are evaluated and scored anonymously by a judge or judging team. The highest scored sketch will be named the NHSMTC Courtroom Artist National Champion.
  • The results of the NHSMTC Courtroom Artist competition will be announced at the Awards Ceremony.

Tips & Ideas

  • Find the most newsworthy action that occurred in the courtroom. Perhaps there is an “ah-ha” moment, an intriguing witness, a shocking development with which to capture the emotion of the trial. The artist must remember that this is true reporting, and must be the “eyes of the court”.
  • Strive for accuracy in depicting the courtroom setting, but don’t focus on sketching a microphone instead of the witness on the stand.
  • Let the viewer know right away that this is a courtroom. Include items that convey that setting, but remember to tell as full a story as possible, instead of focusing on minute details.



Questions?  Please contact, or

NHSMTC Courtroom Artist Winners

2016 - Boise, ID
  1st Place: Sarah Almeda, Bergen Catholic High School, NJ
  2nd Place: Sophie Fu, CA
  3rd Place: Michelle Cao, Northview High School, GA

2017 - Hartford, CT
  1st Place: Adeline Wang, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, CA
  2nd Place: Nicole Harris, Cambridge High School, GA
  3rd Place: Courtney Cook, Midlothian Heritage High School, TX

Click here to see all of the drawings from the 2017 Competition

2017 - Nicole Harris, Georgia.jpgNicole Harris, Cambridge High School, Georgia - 2nd Place

2017 - Courtney Cook, TX.jpgCourtney Cook, Midlothian Heritage High School, Texas - 3rd Place

Thank you to our sponsors who make the NHSMTC possible!

ABOTA Foundation

2017 Foundation Logo - web with no background.png