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Mock Trial

Students who are interested in a career in law, criminal justice, politics, or debate can greatly benefit from taking Carthage’s Mock Trial course. Students who participate in this course will become a member of the nationally-competitive Carthage Mock Trial Team and will represent Carthage in the annual American Mock Trial Association Tournament.

The Mock Trial Course: CRJ 3300

Students on the Carthage Mock Trial TeamIn this course, students study all aspects of trial court procedure and the litigation process. They develop an understanding of how both criminal and civil trials work, and learn about the various roles played by the participants in the trial court process. Students act as plaintiff and defense attorneys, prosecutors, witnesses, and judges. Students also work on important skills such as public speaking, critical thinking, negotiation, communication, debating, and team building. Students who take the course may receive 1-4 course credit hours in criminal justice, management, or political science as a part of their general electives.

Students in all academic years are able to take the course, which is offered in the fall semester. Please note: Enrollment may be limited and may require permission of the instructor. Students receive course credit upon completion of the regional tournament and, if applicable, the national tournament, which occur each spring. 

Success in the regional tournament against teams from Marquette, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, University of Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Loyola, University of Minnesota, University of Chicago, and other regional schools will mean the opportunity to advance to the national tournament, where up to $20,000 in scholarship money may be awarded.

Carthage Mock Trial Success

  • Outstanding Witness Awards
  • Outstanding Plaintiff, Prosecution, and Defense Attorney Awards
  • Spirit of Mock Trial Award
  • Top 6 percent of all collegiate Mock Trial teams in 2016

Carthage Mock Trial Team is a nationally competitive team that participates in several tournaments each academic year. In 2015-16, the team reached the National Championship Tournament and finished the season ranked 43rd out of more than 650 teams nationwide, placing Carthage in the top 6 percent of all collegiate Mock Trial teams. The team received its first bid to the national championship after finishing second in the American Mock Trial Association’s Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS). At ORCS, Carthage Mock Trial defeated the University of Notre Dame (ranked No. 43 in the country), Xavier University (ranked No. 16), and Miami University (ranked No. 4), to reach the national championship series. The team entered the 2015-16 year ranked No. 273 and finished at No. 43.

Annually, team members receive various honors, including awards for Outstanding Witness and Outstanding Plaintiff, Prosecution, and Defense Attorneys. Carthage has also won the Spirit of Mock Trial Award, which is given to the team that best exemplifies Mock Trial’s ideals of civility, justice, and fair play. The honor speaks volumes about the professionalism, commitment, and camaraderie displayed by our teams.


Students interested in joining Carthage Mock Trial Team should contact:
Professor Michael Phegley, J.D.
Associate Professor of Business Administration; Director, Mock Trial Program
Clausen Center 214

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …