Press Releases

Illinois State Bar Association to Host High School Mock Trial Invitational at University of Illinois Springfield

Rhys Saunders
Media Manager
(217) 747-1433
For Immediate Release: 
February 27, 2019

Teams from 36 high schools throughout the state will participate in the 37th annual Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) High School Mock Trial Invitational March 9-10 at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The top eight teams will compete in the final round on March 10 for the state championship. The winner will represent Illinois at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Athens, Georgia.

“The mock trial competition provides a unique opportunity for students across the state to learn analytical skills and to display those skills through the presentation of persuasive questioning and compelling arguments,” said Nancy Easum, of Springfield, chair of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Law Related Education for the Public, which administers the program. “The competition also teaches the basic principles and processes of the judicial system.  Participation in the event improves self-confidence, public speaking skills, and poise, all of which will serve the students well regardless of their future career paths.”

Each team tries both sides–plaintiff and defense–of a hypothetical case. This year’s case is People v. Alex Buckley, which is a criminal case involving a death during a fire at a preparatory academy. The defendant has been charged with aggravated arson and first-degree murder, and has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Students will assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses, and a panel of Illinois lawyers and judges, along with members of the ISBA Law Related Education Committee, will evaluate and score the students' performances.  The students must also take a written test about the issues of the case and basic legal principles.

The High School Mock Trial Invitational has been conducted each year since 1982 by the ISBA to provide Illinois high school students an interesting and challenging way to gain insight into the American judicial system.  The 2019 event is co-sponsored by Illinois LEARN, Inc. 


  • Adlai E. Stevenson HS, Lincolnshire
  • Bartlett HS, Bartlett                                                                                                          
  • Chicago Christian HS, Palos Heights                                                                                       
  • De La Salle Institute, Chicago                                                                                        
  • Elk Grove HS, Elk Grove Village                                                                                                      
  • Evanston Township HS, Evanston                                                                                 
  • Glenbard East HS, Lombard                                                                                            
  • Glenbard South HS, Glen Ellyn                                                                                          
  • Highland Park HS, Highland Park                                                                                              
  • Hinsdale Central HS, Hinsdale                                                                                         
  • Hinsdale South HS, Darien                                                                                           
  • Homewood-Flossmoor HS, Flossmoor                                                                           
  • Huntley HS,Huntley                                                                                                          
  • John Hersey HS, Arlington Heights                                                                                                
  • Kankakee Christian Home Educators, Kankakee                                                       
  • Maine South HS, Park Ridge                                                                                                                
  • Maine Township HS West, Des Plaines                                                                            
  • Mt. Vernon Township HS, Mt. Vernon                                                                             
  • Naperville North HS, Naperville                                                                                        
  • Niles North HS, Skokie                                                                                                   
  • Niles West HS, Skokie                                                                                                    
  • Normal Community HS, Normal                                                                                  
  • Normal West HS, Normal                                                                                               
  • O’Fallon Township HS, O’Fallon                                                                                    
  • Pittsfield HS, Pittsfield                                                                                                        
  • Providence Catholic HS, New Lenox                                                                                  
  • Rich South HS, Richton Park                                                                                                          
  • Salem Community HS, Salem                                                                                     
  • South Elgin HS, South Elgin                                                                                                   
  • Southland College Prep HS, Richton Park                                                                          
  • St. Charles North HS, St. Charles                                                                                       
  • Timothy Christian HS, Elmhurst                                                                                      
  • Unity Christian Academy, South Holland                                                                              
  • Wheaton Academy, West Chicago                                                                                         
  • Whitney M. Young Magnet HS, Chicago                                                                   
  • York Community HS, Elmhurst                                                                                        


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