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Mock Trial State Competition Journalist Contest Finals

Mock Trial Home Page >> County Competition >> Courtroom Journalist Competition

Courtroom Journalist Competition

typing.jpgThe Courtroom Journalist Contest allows students to experience a courtroom setting from the perspective of a news reporter and learn about the American legal system from actual judges and attorneys. Through the voice of a newspaper reporter reporting on a criminal case, students observe and report on their schools mock trials. Student's have 24 hours to submit an article depicting the courtroom drama. For more information about the Courtroom Journalist Contest please contact your county coordinator.

Contest Rules Following rules apply to journalists competing in LA County. Check with your County Coordinator for any changes made in your local county competition.

Scoring Guidelines | Rules | Sample Journalist Article  |  Reporters' Handbook


  1. All contestants must be affiliated with a participating Mock Trial team and enrolled at the team’s school.
  1. All participants must complete the entry fee form (fees may vary by county).
  1. All participants must register online authorizing the publication or reprinting of their Journalism Contest submissions for educational purposes.  No financial compensation will be awarded.
  1. Contestants may only watch and report on their own team’s trials.
  1. All contestants are invited to watch their team’s first trial during Round 1. But, all contestants must write their articles based on their team’s Round 2 trial.
  1. Typed submissions must be a 12 point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins, double-spaced, and a page limit of two pagesAny articles over two pages will not be read.  If submission is handwritten, article must not exceed 500 words.
  1. Submitted articles should be in the voice of a reporter covering a criminal trial. Use of dictionaries and thesauruses will be permitted.

Submission instructions:

  1. Collect your “Press Badge”/nametag at the school check-in table.
  1. During the trials, journalists must sit in the jury box in a row below the scorers.  If a scorer/presider asks you not to sit in the jury box, you may sit in the front row of spectator seating, away from witnesses.
  1. Please introduce yourself to the scorers (they will be sitting in the jury box) and the presider (she/he will be sitting on the bench).
  1. Once you are seated, you may not have any contact with anyone from your school (parents, teachers, or fellow students).  You must draft your article completely independently. 
  1. On the day of Round 2, all contestants will have 24 hours to complete their articles and deliver them via fax, hand delivery or email by 5:00 p.m. the following day of Round 2.
  1. Contestants may refer to the California Mock Trial case materials, the Journalism Contest rules and Judging criteria during the contest.
  1. Awards for the Journalism Contest are independent of the LA County Mock Trial Competition; an individual may win a Journalism award regardless of their Mock Trial team’s final ranking.


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