Los Angeles County Mock Trial Courtroom Journalist Competition

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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 24 hours to submit an article depicting the courtroom drama.

Scoring Guidelines | Sample Journalist Article  |  Reporters' Handbook


Contest Rules


  • All contestants must be affiliated with a registered LA County Mock Trial team and enrolled at the team’s school.
  • All participants must pay a $25 entry fee and register online.
  • All participants must complete a permission slip authorizing the publication or reprinting of their Journalists Contest submission for educational purposes. No financial compensation will be awarded.
  • All contestants must write their articles based on their county team’s Round 2 trial.
  • Round 2:

o   Introduce yourself to the scorers, say your name and identify yourself as the courtroom journalist.

o   You may sit in the jury box away from scorers if available. You must wear your nametag.

o   Once you are seated, you may not have any contact with anyone from your team (parents, teachers, or fellow students).  You must draft your article completely independently. 

  • After Round 2, all contestants must type their articles. Typed submissions must be a 12 point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins, double-spaced, and a page limit of two pages. Any articles over two pages will not be read.
  • Submitted articles should be in the voice of a reporter covering a criminal trial. Use of dictionaries and thesauruses will be permitted.
  • Label your article with your name and team code only.
  • All Journalist Contest participants will have 24 hours to complete their article and emailed to by 5:00pm on:
    • November 13 for the high school entries
    • November 15 for the middle school entries
  • Contestants may refer to the California Mock Trial case materials, the Journalism Reporters Handbook, and the Judging criteria during the contest.


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For more information about the Courtroom Journalist Contest, contact us.