Wellesley Mock Trial Teams Qualify for National Tournament

For immediate release:
Feb. 8, 2007

Contact: Arlie Corday,

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Wellesley College’s Mock Trial teams placed fourth and fifth out of 23 teams at the New England Regional Tournament in Bristol, R.I., on Feb. 3-4, securing two of five bids to compete in the National Tournament.

At the Regional Tournament, the fifteen Mock Trial members argued a case about police brutality in the fictional Polk County, hinging on the potentially wrongful shooting of a young gang member.

“It was extremely rewarding for both teams to win bids to Nationals,” said sophomore Alma Heckman, co-captain of one team. “I would have to say it was sheer hard work that enabled our success, helped by a healthy dose of team camaraderie as well as an occasionally unique perspective on the case materials.” But the teams’ success did not come without obstacles: “The difficulty of the tournaments comes from unexpected witness lineups, and teams that ‘fight dirty,’” Heckman explained. “Wellesley Mock Trial has proven itself more than capable of standing up to these challenges.”

The tournaments, in which students play the roles of witnesses and attorneys arguing a court case before a judge, are run by the American Mock Trial Association. It was founded in 1985 in order to “give undergraduate students an opportunity to learn first hand about the work of trial attorneys, understand the judicial system, develop critical thinking and enhance communication skills.” The national tournament will take place in St. Paul, Minn., in March.

Wellesley College has been a leader in the education of women for more than 130 years. The College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 65 countries.