About

So what is Menlo Mock Trial?

MMT is an extra-curricular activity at Menlo School (Upper School) that functions more like a sports team than a club. It has both Varsity and JV teams, volunteer coaches, regular practice and tournament competition, including travel around and outside of California. MMT strives to be educational, fun, and championship- caliber for all students who make the team. Our students learn important public speaking and debate skills from real legal professionals, and then showcase these skills as a team in front of lawyers, judges, law enforcement personnel, and others from the community.

And what is mock trial?

  • A Statewide, Nationwide and even International scored competition
  • Teams receive the same ‘case’ or fact pattern and then argue it in court
  • Teams compete as attorneys & witnesses against other schools

How is Menlo Mock Trial structured?

  • ~20 spots on each team (JV & Varsity), plus a few spots for Pre-Trial attys
  • Practice is appx 2x/week, with a number of weekend tournaments
  • The JV season runs from September thru February
  • The Varsity season is almost year-round: a small group starts in August, the full team joins for September thru March, a smaller group continues into May, and then an even smaller group finishes the season in July.

Why Mock Trial?

  • It’s fun and we are successful!
  • Bonding for all grades – more than other sports teams
  • Educational value- teachers appreciate skills developed
  • Development of life skills such as public speaking, debate, confidence in front of others, creativity and analytical writing, and an understanding of the legal system from the experts themselves.

Is Menlo Mock Trial any good? (Short answer: extremely!)

  • We’re one of the best out of over 500 CA teams
  • We’ve won the CA State Championship (2014), and been in the Championship Round two of the last four years
  • We have won the most NorCal Championship Titles of any team in California (4x, and are the defending champions).
  • We have won county in 10 of the last 11 years, and are a perfect 80 wins/0 losses in county competition over the last 8 years
  • We have finished Top 8 in California (podium finish) for 6 years running, and are the only current team to have ranked at that level more than 3 years in a row
  • We’ve won a number of other national-level tournaments, and many of our students win individual awards… including Andy Parker who won the Individual World Championship in 2016 before going on to be an All-American for the Yale team.

Who coaches your kids?

We have a large coaching staff, led by our faculty-sponsor Dan Devitt and head coach Thom Scher (who is also head coach for Stanford University). There are 5 varsity trial coaches (Thom Scher, David Larson, Susan Hoerger, Carrie Adkins, and Jim Terranova) who have been with the program for a combined 25+ years. There are three JV coaches (head JV coach Karen Barr, Michele Freed and Cindy Herr), and a dedicated pre-trial coach (Tracy Tefertiller) who works with students at both levels, as well as a variety of adjunct coaches and alumni that come in for special practice sessions as well. All coaches try to work with kids across the program as much as possible. Multiple of the coaches had (or have) students at Menlo, and a number of those students participated in the Mock Trial program. All our coaches volunteer their time, hundreds of hours each year, to work with the students and make our team the best that it can be.

How can I quickly reach a coach?

Email Dan Devitt directly, dan.devitt@menloschool.com