Los Angeles County Mock Trial Courtroom Journalist Competition

The 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. Students have 24 hours to submit an article depicting the courtroom trial.

 DownloadScoring Guidelines |Sample Journalist Article|Reporters' Handbook

Contest Rules


  • All journalists must be affiliated with a registered LA County Mock Trial team and enrolled at the team’s school.

  • All journalists must pay a $25 entry fee and register online.

  • All journalists must complete a permission slip authorizing the publication or reprinting of their Journalists Contest submission for educational purposes. No financial compensation will be awarded.

  • All journalists must write their articles based on their team’s Round 2 trial.

Round 2:

  • Introduce yourself to the scorers, say your name and identify yourself as the courtroom journalist.

  • Once you in the virtual courtroom, you may not have any contact with anyone from your team (parents, teachers, or fellow students). You must draft your article completely independently.

  • After Round 2, all journalists must type their articles. 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.

  • Submitted articles should be in the voice of a reporter covering a criminal trial. Use of dictionaries and thesauruses will be permitted.

  • Label your article with your name and team code only.

  • All contestants must emailed their articles to jasmin@crf-usa.org by 5:00pm on:

    • November 11 for the high school entries

    • November 13 for the middle school entries

    • Journalists may refer to the Los Angeles Mock Trial case materials, the Journalism Reporters Handbook, and the Judging criteria during the contest.