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Mock Trial Scholars Program

A Mock Trial Camp for High School Students

August 3-7, 2015

The University of Minnesota Law School will host the annual Mock Trial Scholars Program for high school students August 3-7, 2015. The program will give high school mockers an opportunity to practice and improve their trial advocacy skills, while also providing them with a taste of life as a college student.

In this unique Law School-sponsored and run program, high school students will receive in-depth instruction on all components of a trial, including evidence, objections, and courtroom decorum. Participants will learn how to make artful and persuasive opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments. Every step of the way, members of the award-winning University of Minnesota Law School Mock Trial Team, law students, and Law School faculty will coach participants through daily exercises that will help them practice what they learn. At the end of the week, students will use the knowledge they've gained to compete in a full mock trial judged by skilled practitioners from Minnesota's legal community. Top performers will receive special awards, and all participants will receive a certificate of completion.

Students will eat and sleep in a University of Minnesota dorm and take classes at the Law School. They also will have an opportunity to take a tour of the University of Minnesota campus. Fun and engaging evening activities supervised by law students will build community and give students a chance to wind down after busy days. Tuition, including room and board, is $1,250.

A limited number of spaces are available to ensure an exceptional experience for all. Participating students will be grouped based on their experience level.

To apply for admission to the Mock Trial Scholars Program, please complete the application form. Email the completed application, or any questions, to Sharon Reich Paulsen, Associate Dean, at uofmmock@umn.edu. The early bird deadline for applications is May 1, 2015. The deadline for all applications is Monday, June 1, 2015.

Click here for the program schedule.


Tuition and Fees:

Tuition and fees for the Mock Trial Scholars Program total $1,250. Tuition and fees include:

  • Costs of all academic programs, including materials and supplies
  • Overnight housing in Middlebrook Hall, a University of Minnesota dorm
  • Meals
  • Costs of all scheduled on-campus social activities
  • Mock Trial Scholars Program t-shirt and certificate

Early bird applicants who apply by May 1, 2015, and submit their payment by June 1, 2015, will receive a 10% discount!

Meals and Housing

Students in the Mock Trial Scholars Program will sleep and will eat most of their meals in a dorm on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.

Each student will room with one other student of the same gender and will use single-gender bathrooms. Overnight supervision will be provided by law student coaches. Bedding, towels, and internet access will be provided.

Please direct questions about meal and housing arrangements to uofmmock@umn.edu.

Meet the Directors

Sharon Reich Paulsen

Sharon Reich Paulsen, Faculty Director
Sharon Reich Paulsen currently serves as Associate Dean at the University of Minnesota Law School. She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University, where she received the William M. Massee Award for her senior economics thesis and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received her J.D. from Stanford Law School, where she was Note Editor of the Stanford Law Review and received the Board of Editors Award for her editorial contributions. After clerking for the Honorable Harlington Wood Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, she joined the U.S. Department of Justice through the Civil Division Honors Program and served as a trial attorney, primarily engaged in constitutional litigation. She later joined the Business Litigation Department of Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis. At both the Department of Justice and Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels), she first-chaired a number of trials and brought many other matters to resolution through motions practice, arbitrations, and mediation. In 1991, she became Associate Dean at the Law School, where her responsibilities included trial practice, appellate practice, and legal writing.

From 2004-11, Dean Paulsen took a leave from the Law School and served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief of Staff to the Provost of the University of Minnesota. As chief advisor to the Provost, she was the liaison with senior campus academic and administrative leaders, ensured effective implementation of academic initiatives, handled grievances and legal issues, prepared and implemented the annual work plan for the Provost's Office, and supervised all professional and support staff as well as daily management and operations in the Provost's Office. She played a leading role in overseeing and then implementing the academic side of the University's strategic positioning effort.

Dean Paulsen has lectured inside and outside the University community on evidence, ethics, litigation, comparative law, legal writing, and legal education issues. Her teaching and research interests focus on litigation strategy and procedure, including trial practice, depositions, appellate advocacy, and legal writing. During the summer of 2007, she taught a six-week course in China through the Law School's Summer Study Abroad Program. Last spring she was a visiting professor at the Uppsala University Faculty of Law; while there, she also was invited to give the keynote speech at the annual meeting of the Comparative Law Research Society of Sweden.

Craig Buske

Craig Buske, Attorney Director
Craig Buske graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2010. Mr. Buske has extensive mock trial experience, both as the coach of the University of Minnesota Law School's mock trial team, and as a former competitor. As a lawyer, Mr. Buske focuses on litigation, including work on business disputes, personal injury cases, landlord-tenant law, First Amendment law, civil rights, and employment disputes. Mr. Buske also practices in the area of government relations, building on his past experiences as a legislative aide in the Iowa legislature and as an ex-officio city council member in Ames, Iowa.

Questions? Contact: uofmmock@umn.edu