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 attorneys
- Practice is appx 2x/week, with a number of weekend tournaments
- The JV season runs from September through February
- The Varsity season is almost year-round: the full team joins for August through 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 twice (2014 and 2019), and been in the Championship Round three of the last six years
- We have won the most NorCal Championship Titles of any team in California (6x, and are the defending champions).
- We have won county in 12 of the last 13 years, and are have a perfect 100 wins/0 losses record in county competition over the last 10 years
- We have finished Top 8 in California (podium finish) for 7 out of the last 9 years
- 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 and Tiffany Tam who won the Individual World Championship in 2018.
Who coaches your kids?
Our coaching staff is led by our faculty-sponsor Dan Devitt and head coach Tracy Tefertiller (a DA in Santa Clara County). William Kwong and Kathy Julian coach our JV team and Ken Fenyo coaches pre-trial. Liz Grant, the current Vice President of Stanford Mock Trial, and Meredith Fenyo, Menlo alumna and Stanford Mock Trial competitor, serve as an assistant coaches for the program. 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 (and participate) 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.
In addition to the several Stanford affiliated coaches, MMT partners with Stanford Mock Trial for pre-tournament practices and scrimmages. The Stanford students mentor many of the Menlo participants throughout their time in the program.
How can I quickly reach a coach?
Email Dan Devitt directly, firstname.lastname@example.org