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Mock Trial Scholars Program

August 19-23, 2013

Calling all high school mock trial students!

The University of Minnesota Law School will host its first annual Mock Trial Scholars Program for high school students August 19-23, 2013. 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, or Jennifer Rose, Student Director, at uofmmock@umn.edu. Applications will be accepted through June 14, 2013. Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications by June 21, 2013.

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 Comstock Hall, a University of Minnesota dorm
  • Meals
  • Costs of all scheduled on-campus social activities
  • Mock Trial Scholars Program t-shirt and certificate

Meals and Housing

Students in the Mock Trial Scholars Program will sleep and will eat most of their meals in Comstock Hall, a dorm on the East Bank of 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.

Comstock Hall is a secure building. It is locked daily from 7:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m., and its information desk is staffed 24 hours per day. For more information about Comstock Hall, please visit http://www.housing.umn.edu/halls/comstock/index.html.

Please direct questions about meal and housing arrangements to Jennifer Rose, Student Director, at uofmmock@umn.edu.

Meet the Directors

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 Roen, Attorney Director
Craig Roen graduated, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1987. He has tried and arbitrated numerous disputes over his career involving insurance coverage, employment discrimination, contracts, trade secrets and product liability to name a few. In 2002, he was lead trial counsel in the MacArthur asbestos coverage case, which settled after three months of trial for $975 million. He was also lead trial counsel in the 2005 API asbestos coverage case in which the jury found coverage in favor of his client and awarded $52.5 million. Mr. Roen now focuses on philanthropic work for several nonprofit organizations and is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School and William Mitchell College of Law.

Jennifer Rose, Student Director
Jennifer Rose earned her B.A. in political science and strategic communications from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010. She earned her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2013. She plans to sit for the Minnesota Bar Exam in July, 2013.

Ms. Rose has nearly a decade of mock trial experience. She was a member of her high school's mock trial team for four years, serving as a swing attorney for half of those years. As an undergraduate student, she was a member of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities' Undergraduate Mock Trial Association (UMTA). She competed both as a witness and as an attorney, and she was a captain of her team for two years. In addition to competing, Ms. Rose served one term as Secretary of UMTA and one term as President of UMTA. After completing her undergraduate coursework, she worked as a Team Leader at LeadAmerica, where she taught trial advocacy skills to high school students. As a law student, Ms. Rose competed on the University of Minnesota Law School's Mock Trial Team. Ms. Rose and her two teammates won first place in the five-state regional tournament this spring and advanced to nationals in Texas. Ms. Rose remains active in the mock trial community by serving as a judge at local tournaments.

Ms. Rose's real-life legal experience includes serving as a summer law clerk at the Minnesota AIDS Project, working as a certified student attorney at the University of Minnesota Law School's Civil Practice Clinic, and acting as a judicial extern. Ms. Rose also worked as a certified student attorney at the Olmsted County Attorney's Office. There, she conducted a court trial and represented Olmsted County in a variety of adult and child protection hearings.