Learn trial advocacy techniques and put your skills to the test
Participate in an immersive exploration of the U.S. legal system
Are you a high school student interested in learning more about our nation’s legal system and how attorneys prepare a case for trial? Perhaps you are considering a career in law as a trial attorney, prosecutor, or defense attorney. Maybe you want to build your self-confidence and strengthen your ability to communicate your ideas and opinions to others. If any of these are true, you are the ideal candidate for the UCLA Mock Trial Summer Institute.
This week-long program is a great way to broaden your knowledge base, explore college and career options, boost your self-confidence and powers of persuasion – all while making new friends and having fun! Join us online to train with the National Champion UCLA Mock Trial Team Coach and Team Members! Learn effective trial advocacy techniques and improve your public speaking skills. UCLA has won the Collegiate National Championship four times in the last 16 years, more than any other university in the country, and you will have the chance to work with both our coaches and team members.
Mock Trial Summer Institute Program Overview
This course will familiarize high school students with law and jurisprudence, the American justice system and effective trial advocacy techniques. The course is ideal for students competing in high school mock trial programs. However, no prior mock trial or public speaking experience is necessary. All students will learn about persuasive oral presentation, thinking on their feet and legal analysis.
The course will cover basic concepts of law, courtroom demeanor, direct and cross examination, opening statements, closing arguments, courtroom exhibits, evidentiary trial objections and witness portrayal. The program will feature a visit to criminal felony trials in the Los Angeles Superior Court and a final mock trial competition. Students will work with Prof. Gonzalo Freixes, Associate Dean at the UCLA Anderson School and Faculty Advisor for the UCLA Mock Trial Program and Prof. Elizabeth Smiley, Head Coach for the UCLA Mock Trial Program. They will also work extensively in small teams with college counselors who are competitors in the UCLA Mock Trial Program or who compete at other universities. The Mock Trial will be based on the murder case of People vs. Ashley Thornhill (a murder at an advertising firm).
UCLA Summer Sessions Summer Scholars Support
Qualified students attending grades 8th – 11th in Spring 2023 in the state of California may be eligible for Summer Scholars Support, a need- and merit-based scholarship offered by the UCLA Summer Sessions Office. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to support enrollment in SCIP/eSCIP, one Summer Course, or a Precollege Summer Institute.
Summer 2023 deadline to apply: March 15.
Students will receive a letter grade upon completion. See University Credit, Grades and Transcripts for more information about academic credit.
The Mock Trial Summer Institute (Virtual) – Session A will be conducted virtually (online). All meeting times will take place in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), unless otherwise noted on program schedule and syllabus. Participants must log-in to virtual sessions at the times indicated on the program schedule.
Students in the virtual program will not be offered housing.
Due to the intense nature of the Mock Trial Summer Institute (In-Person) – Session B and the time commitment involved, living in on-campus housing is mandatory.
For more information on UCLA housing precollege programs, please see the Housing for Minors page.
Many of our precollege programs with mandatory housing (only) also feature non-curricular evening and weekend activities, the availability of which is at the sole discretion of the academic department offering the program, and are not operated by UCLA Summer Sessions. To learn more about whether (and when) your selected program will host such activities, please consult the schedules for each program or contact the department in question directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 9, 2023 – July 15, 2023
July 16, 2023 – July 22, 2023
Program Eligibility: 8th-12th grade in Spring 2023 & Ages 14-17
UCLA Coursework: Management 88; 2 units
Enrollment deadline: June 15, 2023
The schedule and syllabus are subject to change.
Fees and Payment Info
The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.
Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.
Virtual Program Fees:
In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer.
High School Student: $1100
Incoming UCLA Student: $938
Incoming UC Student: $938
|Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students)||$50|
Meet your instructors
Professor Gonzalo FreixesAssociate Dean
Gonzalo Freixes, a graduate of Loyola Law School, has been an Attorney at Law for 41 years and also holds a Master in Business Taxation (USC). He is an Adjunct Professor at UCLA Anderson School of Management where he teaches courses in Business Law, International Business and Taxation. He currently serves as Associate Dean of the Fully Employed and Executive MBA Programs and also teaches study abroad courses in International Business. Prof. Freixes is Faculty Advisor and Head Coach of the UCLA Mock Trial Program (national collegiate champions in 2004, 2005, 2011 and 2014).
Elizabeth SmileyProgram Manager
Elizabeth Smiley has been an attorney at law in California for six years and works as a litigation associate for Baron & Budd, P.C. She is the head coach of the UCLA Mock Trial Program and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Mock Trial Association. She is also a Program Manager at UCLA Anderson, where she oversees the administration of the Mock Trial Program
Mock Trial Summer Institute FAQ
Yes, students will be taught the collegiate rules of mock trial.
Mock Trial at UCLA is an extremely competitive program. Each year we have anywhere between 90-120 people tryout. Depending on how many returning members we have, we accept between 15-20 new members.
Yes. Students will get an email from Professor Gonzalo Freixes and program director Kseniya Belysheva detailing what the case will be about.
No. Each team will have experienced counselors who will teach them everything they will need to know about mock trial. Additionally, Professor Gonzalo Freixes will give lectures about mock trial so every student, no matter their prior experience, will be able to compete at the end of the Summer Institute.
Still have questions? Check out the general Summer Institutes FAQ.