Students Honored in Criminal Justice Mock Trial Competition

Feb. 14, 2017

By Afsha Bawany

The UNLV Criminal Justice Department co-hosted the 2017 Rebel-Trojan All-in Mock Trial Tournament from Jan. 20 to 21, 2017, with the University of Southern California.  Students on the Criminal Justice Department Mock Trial Team competed in the tournament along with 30 other teams, representing 20 universities from around the nation.  The tournament was held in the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.

This year’s competition required students to present a case on age discrimination. Students serve as attorneys for the prosecution and defense and also act as witnesses. Students must make opening and closing statements, question witnesses, and argue rules of evidence.

At the Rebel Trojan Tournament, Matthew Nardone, a UNLV criminal justice major in his senior year received an award for best attorney, and Katarina Roach, a UNLV criminal justice major, in her senior year received an award for outstanding witness.

Joel Lieberman, chair of the UNLV Criminal Justice Department at the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, said the competition gives students the opportunity to refine their critical thinking and presentation skills, while applying classroom knowledge in an experiential learning setting. 

“The mock trial team is fantastic for building student confidence,” Lieberman said.

The UNLV Criminal Justice Mock Trial team will compete in Scottsdale later this month at the American Mock Trial Association regional tournament.   The team is open to all undergraduate majors, and includes students majoring in criminal justice, English, economics and political science. To prepare for regional and national tournaments, students spend the academic year taking classes in trial advocacy, practicing mock trials, and arguing in front of practicing attorneys and judges from Southern Nevada.

For more information on the Mock Trial team, contact Jason Mitchell, the director of the UNLV Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Learn more: