Monday, December 12, 2011

Jumbo Justice

We went to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and brought back first and second places. We defended our title as champions at Tufts. And when we headed out to Yale to wrap up the season, we came back with the first place trophy. We are Tufts Mock Trial (TMT) and this is what we've been up to ever since the Class of 2015 stepped onto campus three months ago.

Mock Trial: What is It?
For those of you just tuning in, mock trial is an intercollegiate team competition in which students present and argue a fictional legal case. We play witness roles, learn the law, and battle it out against other universities before judges, themselves experienced attorneys or law students. We run the Mumbo Jumbo, travel the country, and, of late, dominate the competition.

Our teams are entirely student coached and captained, with new members learning directly from the veterans. Tufts may not have a pre-law major, but between case law, objections, and Chinese food, this has got to come pretty close.

This year, we take on a criminal case about a night at a bar that ended with a horrific car crash, a dead birthday girl, and accusations of murder.

Team Standing
Last year ended with a groundbreaking victory for TMT; third place at the American Mock Trial Association National Championship in Des Moines, Iowa. The year prior, the team advanced to Nationals for the first time in our history; to claim third place among four dozen top teams (distilled from an original 670+ competing teams across the nation) was no small improvement.

One extensive analysis on labels Tufts one of the "most surprising schools" to come out of the tournament:
"Tufts: This school came out of no where. I didn’t even have them on my radar. I don’t think a single person that wrote in told me to watch out for this team. Yet, they finished 3rd...I don’t think anyone outside of Tufts saw this coming."
But that was only the beginning. This year, TMT took roughly a dozen new recruits, the majority of whom were freshman and roughly half of whom had never done mock trial before. We split into four teams of about seven members each, mixing newbies with veterans for a balanced training season. And then we sent those teams to two tournaments each, ranging from the Tufts Mumbo Jumbo to Yale's annual tournament.

This Season
We brought back five team trophies from our eight tournaments, in addition to a healthy sprinkling of individual outstanding attorney and witness awards, three of which were secured by brand new members. Our top successes included:

University of New Hampshire
3rd Place / Record: 6-2

Tufts University
1st Place / Record: 7-1

University of Massachusetts Amherst
1st Place / Record: 7-0-1
2nd Place / Record: 7-1-0

Yale University
1st Place / Record: 9-3

Now that invitationals are over, it's time to gear up for the spring semester. We're entering four re-shuffled teams into the competition, beginning with regional tournaments as early as February.

The best eight teams from each Regional around the northeast will move on to the Opening Round Championship Series in White Plains, New York. The top six teams from each of eight ORCS nationwide will claim bids to Nationals, held this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The top two teams in the four-trial competition will face off in the coveted championship round for the functional equivalent of the mock trial Stanley Cup. Frankly, I have no idea how we'd get it home.

Your Turn
If you're interested in following the team, check out the TMT Twitter page. You don't even need an account to keep up with live updates from our tournaments across the country.

Tryouts take place every September and are open to all classes and experience levels. No prior knowledge of the law is necessary. You're just gonna need a snazzy suit.

We rest our case.

1 comment:

  1. Yea TUFTS (TMT)!!!
    Great Job!
    You deserve a holiday break!


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