Mock Trial Academy

Presented by the Rhodes College Institute for Legal Studies

Who Are We?
Rhodes College Mock Trial is the nation’s most successful collegiate mock trial program. This year, our team qualified for its 31st consecutive National Championship Tournament. Since our founding in 1987, we have been in 8 national championship rounds, won 4 national championship titles, produced more than 70 All-Americans, and earned 10 Reynoldson Coaching Awards. Our program’s founder, Dr. Marcus Pohlmann, is a Hall of Fame coach and a Past President of the American Mock Trial Association. 

What is the Mock Trial Academy?
To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Rhodes Mock Trial, we are inviting talented high school mock trial students from all over the country to join us for a two week long, intensive, mock trial training camp.  Students will have the opportunity to work with experienced coaches, who have a demonstrated record of success developing skills in public speaking and presentation, and learn how to effectively present an argument and develop an understanding of constitutional laws related to the judicial system.

Our Teaching Staff

Anna Smith, Esq.
Academy Director
B.A. Rhodes College
J.D. Duke University School of Law
All-American Mock Trial Attorney
National Finalist
Reynoldson Award-Winning Coach
American Mock Trial Association Board of Directors (Executive Committee Member, Case Committee Member, Chair of the Competition Response Committee)

Dr. Marcus Pohlmann
B.A. Cornell College
Ph.D. Columbia University
American Mock Trial Association Coaches Hall of Fame
American Mock Trial Association Board of Directors (Director Emeritus, Past President)
8-Time Winner of the Reynoldson Award for Coaching
Neal Smith Award for Legal Education

Our Program
Students will live on campus with other students participating in the program, be supervised by current national team members of the Rhodes Mock Trial Program, and work inside and outside the classroom to develop skills in trial advocacy. 

Week Schedule

  • June 18: Students move in
  • June 19: Orientation
  • June 20-29: Classes
  • June 30: Trial performance and move out

Day Schedule

  • A typical day will begin with a group breakfast from 8-9 a.m. 
  • From 9 a.m.-12 p.m. students will study theories of advocacy and criminal trial rights through a combination of lectures on the constitutional theories behind rights of confrontation and the federal rules of evidence, group work, and practical application.
  • From 12-1 p.m. students will eat together in the campus dining facilities.
  • From 1-4 p.m. students will work on preparing openings, closings, directs, and cross examinations based on a fact pattern, with assistance from both our instructors and teaching assistants.
  • 4-5 p.m. is supervised free time.
  • 5-6 p.m. is dinner in small groups.
  • 6-9 p.m. each evening will involve group social activities (Mock Trial Mafia, Ultimate Frisbee Games, Movie Nights)
  • 9-10:30 p.m. is supervised free time.
  • 10:30 pm is lights out.

The Trial
On the last day of the academy, students will perform a full trial that will be open to invited guests (parents and friends), have a small award ceremony, and earn their Academy Certificate of Completion. Students who receive an Academy Certificate of Completion who attend Rhodes in the Fall of 2017 or Fall of 2018 will be exempt from the requirement to take POLS Trial Procedures in order to try out for the mock trial team.

Students will be expected to bring writing material (notebook paper, legal pads) and professional attire for the final trial, as well as some fun, costume options for those interested in witness roles. All books, case materials, and exhibits will be provided by the academy and will be available for the students to keep.

Students may submit an option essay to request scholarship funding.


While we do not offer a formal financial aide package at this time, students who need financial assistance may submit a request for financial aide, a two page personal statement on why they are passionate about studying law, and a teacher recommendation. These essays should be submitted to Professor Smith via email upon acceptance to the program.

How to Apply
Applications are available here.
Students should also provide a transcript. Mock trial experience is not required.
Application deadline for early decision is March 20.  Early decision acceptances will be sent out by April 18.
Regular application deadline is April 14.  Decisions will be sent out by May 5.
Full payment is due by May 31.