Mock trial team takes first at invitationalBy Adam Dodson | 11/20/2016 9:07pm
The Mock Trial Team recently won first place at the Mid-South Invitational. Photo courtesy of Dr. Allen Linken
Alabama’s team is made up of three squads consisting of ten members each, with all three teams having a combination of experienced members and new members. One team, led by Read Mills, had multiple members who have never competed before and still took first.
“The goal of the invitational was to learn,” junior and Vice President of Administration Chance Sturup said. “The fact that we had a team take first with so little experience is astonishing.”
The mock trials pit students against other students, with real attorneys, judges and professors guiding the arguments. Some students also play “witnesses,” a role which allows the students to learn to combine acting and debate by creating a character and putting him or her on the stand – going as far as perfecting foreign accents or portraying a woman crying over the loss of her husband. Beyond just dramatic and debate skills, mock trial gives students other skills that are beneficial in later life, such as the ability to speak about issues they believe are important.
Allen Linken is a professor in the Political Science Department and has been the leader of the team for two years. With years of experience, Linken serves as a mentor for the members by provididing legal advice and real-world examples of situations that come up in the courtroom. Linken, who loves leading the team, has every intention of continuing to lead these students toward success.
“It is so amazing to do this because the team already has their own initiative,” Linken said. “It is not me cracking the whip and telling them to get to work. They do that on their own.”
However, Linken’s contributions go far beyond the occasional push in the right direction with a court case. His greater contributions are seen outside the courtroom, where he dedicates much of his time towards securing funds and gathering publicity for the team’s success.
“Dr. Linken has very strong principles and sticks to them,” Sturup said. “He has contributed greatly as a mentor and a guide.”
The UA Mock Team will continue perfecting their argumentation as the regional tournament approaches in the spring. For more information on the UA Mock Trial Team’s upcoming events or on how to join the team, go to uamocktrial.com.