The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


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Xavier’s mock trial prepares future attorneys

Cara Schilinger ‘24 and Sonya Collatur ‘24 pose in front of the Sandra Day O’Connor Memorial. The Arizona High School Mock Trial State Competition was hosted at the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse on March 23. (Photo courtesy of Asiana Guang)

Mock trial is the intellectual contact sport at Xavier College Preparatory. It is the sport of using the mind competitively to outargue the competition. 

The objective of mock trial is to structure an introduction statement, a cohesive story, an argument and a closing statement.

Mock trial is the sport of writing, acting, and performance ability. At competitions, participants will use these skills to try to move through rounds.

“I love watching them grow over the four years to change and develop such amazing speakers,” said one of Xavier’s mock trial coach Kate Boehm.

The season has two cases throughout the school year, including a newly-introduced pre-case in the fall.

The season starts with the pre-case to introduce new joiners to the sport. The season, though, is based in the spring.

Xavier’s pre-cases were written by mock trial coaches Rebecca Richter and Boehm in the summer of 2023 to be played out in the fall.

There are four teams in Xavier’s mock trial: North, East, South, and West. Each team includes six girls.

The participants practice three days, compiling up to eight to ten hours a week. Teams practice both sides of the case until the competition day when they are designated as plaintiff or defense.

Mock trial also involves elements of speech and debate. “We like to say mock trial is an intellectual contact sport,” says Xavier’s South team member, Sonya Colattur.

Practices depend on the part of the season in which mock trial is. Early season practice is dedicated to constructing a theory on the case, figuring out witnesses and developing an argument. While the later season is concentrated on running through materials, practicing objections, learning the evidence and memorizing the rules.

Actual attorneys are brought in to coach and guide the teams through their cases. “As an attorney myself and as a coach I love getting the chance to help them craft interesting legal arguments, to write great cross-examinations, figure out interesting legal puzzles and logical arguments that make sense and make the case run well,” said Boehm.

Competition days start at the courthouse in downtown Phoenix at 7 a.m. and the competition starts at 8 a.m. lasting until sometimes 8 p.m. On competition days, there are four rounds of trial with the chance of being qualified for a fifth trial.

“I think it’s really interesting to see the girls change over the four years of mock trial. When they start as freshmen they are all super eager, bright and naturally talented, and they become so well-spoken and mature. By senior year it’s like looking at little attorneys in the courtroom,” Richter said.

“I love it because of teammates. Most of us have been together for the past four years and it’s a community that I’ve grown close to,” said Colattur.

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