State Finals Courtroom Journalist

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Courtroom Journalist Contest

The Courtroom Journalist Contest allows students to experience a courtroom setting from the perspective of a news reporter and learn about the American legal system from actual judges and attorneys. Through the voice of a newspaper reporter reporting on a criminal case, students observe and report on their schools mock trials. Students have a deadline to submit an article depicting the courtroom drama. For more information about the Courtroom Journalist Contest contact Stephanie Perez at or 213-316-2127.

State Finals Information

Congratulations on winning your county’s Courtroom Journalist Contest! Here is a brief summary of the events that will take place at the 2018 State Finals in Orange County. Review the agenda, travel accommodations, and requirements for all state participants for more important information.

Journalist Check-in: Friday, March 16, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel. This is where you will receive your California Mock Trial T-shirt, your official entry information for your article submission, and other important materials. Remember that you must attend the trial of your county’s mock trial team for Round 2. The courtroom assignments for each trial are posted at the courthouse 15 minutes before each trial begins.

Welcome Orientation: Friday, March 16, 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel. All journalists must attend the orientation.

Courtroom Journalist Worshop: Friday, March 16, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel. During this meeting, you will interact with other courtroom journalists and learn tips on how to become a better reporter and writer from a professional journalist. You will also receive important information about the contest. A meal will be provided.

Courtroom Journalist Official Round: All entries must be based on what students witness at their county’s mock trial team's trial during Round 2, on March 17th and cannot be written prior to the event. All entries must be typed and emailed to by 5:00 pm on Saturday, March 17. The article submission must be an attachment and not in the body of the email.

Student Social: Saturday, March 17, 8:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel.  At about 10:30p.m., the mock trial finalists will be announced.

Championship Trial: Sunday, March 18, at 9:00 a.m., the Championship Trial will be held at the Central Justice Center. You are welcome to attend this trial as a spectator.

Journalists Awards: A professional editor will judge all entries with first, second, and third place plaques that will be awarded at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, March 18, from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel.

Journalist Registration Fee and Permission Slip: Each courtroom journalist participating in the 2018 California Mock Trial Finals must pay a registration fee of $75.00 and submit a permission slip by March 2nd. The regsitration fee covers the cost of materials, facility rentals, one T-shirt per student, an official 2018 California Mock Trial certificate, Program Book, and admission to the student social. The $75.00 registration fee is mandatory for all official county courtroom journalists. A $25.00 late fee should be assessed for all payments made after March 2, 2018.