Fresno State Mock Trial was started approximately fifteen years ago. Over that time, the team has grown from approximately ten students to over fifty each year. The program is now nationally ranked and our members have gone on to be lawyers, teachers, law enforcement officers, and nurses within our community. The program allows students of all different majors and backgrounds to participate in presenting a full mock trial from opening statements through closing arguments with students playing attorneys and witnesses. All members of the team take numerous trips throughout California and the United States competing at various tournaments. The students are able to travel without ever being asked for money to cover registration fees, hotel costs, gas, or plane tickets.
While we do receive some funding through Fresno State, majority of the money needed is provided through fundraising and donations. Typically, we host a mixer where local attorneys and businesses purchase tickets to attend and also visit local firms to discuss the program. However, due to Covid, we are unable to do these this year.
Additionally, we have extra costs this year due to Covid because we cannot host our normal tournaments in person. We are estimating that we must purchase approximately $240 worth of Zoom accounts to allow our tournament to occur in an electronic format. Additionally, because we will no longer be hosting a regional for the American Mock Trial Association, we have to pay an additional $350 in registration fees.
Through our student, alumni, and coach testimonials, we will demonstrate to our donors, both new and previous, the impact that this program has on our students. It provides a great foundation of public speaking and is an invaluable tool for students who wish to attend law school. It additionally provides a sense of community to our students. We have a strong alumni network that will assist with our crowdfunding goal.