Hands-On Learning Q&A: Joan Lee, Mock Trial

Joan Lee is a 3L that chose to get involved in Mock Trial in Fall 2021—the beginning of her second year at KU Law. Since then, Lee has learned more about representing a client, gained confidence in public speaking and acquired a baseline for courtroom etiquette as she participated in both in-house and national competitions. The experience has helped solidify her decision to pursue a career in litigation.

Joan Lee
Joan Lee

KU Law offers both an in-house Mock Trial Competition as well as a Mock Trial Council which represents the school in national competitions. The course is open to first and second-year students. Mock Trial Council is selected from students who do exceptionally well in the in-house program.

“The Mock Trial Program is a fun and challenging opportunity to learn how to become effective advocates in a low stake environment,” Lee said.

Lee shared her experience with Mock Trial for a Q&A.

What interested you in enrolling in this course?

I was never involved in mock trial or debate club during my undergraduate years, and I recognized early on that I needed to grow myself in this area. Furthermore, I wanted to improve my public speaking skills and learn how to present a case in the courtroom.

Are there specific skills you have developed or improved working through this experience?

I am more confident speaking in front of crowds. I have learned how to approach issues in a creative manner and effectively communicate my client’s position to a judge/jury. In addition to that, I have also developed forecasting skills—thinking of all the possible scenarios and their future impacts—as I’ve brainstormed with my teammates on case strategy. I learned about proper courtroom etiquette. I have been able to improve upon making objections and providing responses using the Federal Rules of Evidence.

How do you think this experience will impact the rest of your time in law school or the start of your career?

Participating in Mock Trial has solidified my decision to pursue a career in litigation. I am certain that the many valuable skills I have gained from this course will be transferred and utilized throughout my legal career.

What would you say to law students considering participating in the Mock Trial Program?

I highly encourage other law students to join the Mock Trial Program. The Mock Trial Program is a fun and challenging opportunity to learn how to become effective advocates in a low stake environment.

This post is the fourth in a series highlighting hands-on learning opportunities at KU Law. Stay tuned for more student experiences in clinicsfield placements and experiential learning programs.

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— By Sarah Pickel