Mock Trial Camp

Stetson Young Scholars Mock Trial Camp

Thinking about becoming a lawyer? Just like to argue? Prepare and deliver arguments with and against experienced trial attorneys and other students in front of actual trial judges in matches designed to develop your trial skills. Have dinner with attorneys, law school staff and law students making contacts to prepare for your future career. Or just learn the ins and outs of public speaking and logical evidence. The Stetson Undergraduate Mock Trial Team ("trial team") has enjoyed much success in the last decade and has traveled all over the country competing and placing in various tournaments. The trial team has enjoyed the benefits of the Stetson Law School Mock Trial Team, which has been and remains established as the leading mock trial team in the nation. The faculty advisor and mentor of the Stetson Undergraduate Mock Trial Team is excited to host this camp to encourage experienced high school mock "trial-ers" and first-timers alike to develop their trial, debate and speaking skills. Your level of participation will be optional but learning will be inevitable.

Bio: Sven Smith, JD, PhD, has been an attorney since 1999, working in the courtroom in commercial, criminal and administrative matters. He has tried over 30 cases and handled over a hundred motions in these respective courtrooms. Dr. Smith has been the faculty advisor for the award-winning Stetson Mock Trial undergraduate team for 8 years. He has been working at Stetson for over 15 years in various capacities and has taught 18 different courses in criminology, sociology of law, and law-related courses at Stetson University, University of Florida, and the University of Chicago. He has been published as a co-author over 15 times in criminology, sociology, psychology, and law journals/books and has a journal article regarding gun ownership, media and crime awaiting press. He has dedicated himself to the study of law (jurisprudence) and law-related science including working as a staffed researcher at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, the think tank for the American Bar Association.

Classroom Requirements and Courtroom on Friday

  • Pen and paper
  • Courtroom attire for one day (suit)
  • Laptop is optional
This is an overnight camp. Stetson University does not provide linens, towels or toiletries. Please remember to bring the following and anything else that will make your stay even more enjoyable.
  • Pillow(s)
  • Sheets (Twin XL) – You can bring a sleeping bag if you would like
  • Blanket
  • Towels
  • Washcloth
  • Toiletries (Soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant)
  • Shower shoes (if you desire)
  • Medications
  • Glasses/contacts, solutions, and a case for contacts
  • Laundry soap (If you are going to be staying for an extended period of time, there are washers and dryers available free of cost. You must provide your own laundry soap).

Linens are able to be rented at an additional cost.

Tentative Schedule and Plan

Dr. Sven Smith will be fully involved but will have help during the day from current student Nicholas Webb (President of the Prelaw Fraternity Phi Alpha Delta). Stetson alumnus Alexis Ercolani, from the Munizzi Law Firm, will be there every day working with the group. Joining us throughout the week in person or via Skype/Zoom will be:

  • Danny Humphrey-mock trial extraordinaire- Fordham law school, federal clerk and Fla Supreme Court clerk, Stetson undergrad
  • Alan Hinderleider-Emory Law, Attorney General’s Office, Stetson undergrad
  • Raul Zambrano-Chief Circuit Judge Stetson Law, Stetson Undergrad
  • Nate Bodger-Law Student-Environmental Law-Columbia Law Stetson Undergrad
  • Elijah Campbell-Law Student UPenn Law Stetson undergrad
  • Nicholas Webb-Stetson undergrad-PAD president-volunteer throughout the week
  • Robyn Kramer-Trial Attorney-Emory Law

Monday, June 21, 2021: Introduction

  • Morning (9 a.m.-Noon): Learn on basic judicial process/evidence and practice opening statements
  • Lunch (Noon-1 p.m.): Assign icebreaker
  • Afternoon (1 p.m.-4 p.m.): Report back on the icebreaker, introduction of mock trial package facts, assignment of groups to Plaintiff or Defendant, discuss the opening statement, assign homework for Tuesday
  • Evening (5 p.m.): Dinner with Attorney

Tuesday, June 22, 2021: Open Arguments: Content and Practice

  • Morning (9 a.m.-Noon): Learn open and closing statement and practice with an in-class exercise
  • Lunch(Noon-1 p.m.): Assign icebreaker and construct arguments
  • Afternoon (1 p.m.-4 p.m.): Report back on an icebreaker and use the first half of session constructing argument/second half on practicing it in groups
  • Evening (5 p.m.): Dinner with Attorney

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: Direct and Cross-Examination: Content and Practice

  • Morning (10 a.m.-Noon): Learn Federal Evidence Code for the first half of the session and then construct direct examination/construct cross-examination
  • Lunch (Noon-1 p.m.): Groups of 2 to work on direct
  • Afternoon(1 p.m.-4 p.m.): Practice direct and cross
  • Evening(5 p.m.): Dinner with Attorney 

Thursday, June 24, 2021: Closing Arguments: Content and Practice

  • Morning(9 a.m.-Noon): Practice Direct and Cross and a brief lecture on closing statement lecture for the first half and then construct a closing argument
  • Lunch(Noon-1 p.m.): Practice closing generally without notes
  • Afternoon(1 p.m.-4 p.m.): Small class practice close for the first half of the session then the entire class practice open and close with judges
  • Evening(5 p.m.): Dinner with Law Student

Friday, June 25, 2021 (8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.): Start Trial-Chief Judge Raul Zambrano

  • Trial(s) 
  • Complete exit interviews-Check-out

Registration Information

June 21 - June 25, 2021

Overnight Camp Cost:

A $50 non-refundable registration fee is required at the time of registration. Payment is due in full one month prior to the event. Failure to pay in full by the deadline will result in the cancellation of your registration.

Registration 2021


Payments can be made online or over the phone. For more information, please contact Stetson Young Scholars at
386-822-7100 or