Student Organization Q&A: Drexel Mock Trial Association
February 1, 2019
We caught up with Talha Mukhtar, a philosophy and political science major, to chat about his experiences with the Drexel Undergraduate Mock Trial Association. Mukhtar is a senior and the current president of DUMT.
What is the purpose or mission of the Drexel University Mock Trial Association?
We are a nationally competitive, team public-speaking and mock-trial program. Our mission is to foster community and teamwork, empower our members as both competitors and well-rounded individuals, and of course, to win the national championship tournament!
What activities does Mock Trial do throughout the year?
We practice for several hours a week and compete in tournaments against teams throughout the nation.
How has being a member of the society benefitted you, professionally and/or personally?
Professionally, it has helped me to master courtroom skills comparable to those of most practicing trial lawyers. I have learned how to effectively and persuasively advocate for a position or narrative, a skill that is as rare as it is useful. In addition, I have significantly improved my work ethic and discipline over the years, as well as my creativity. Personally, I have made friends whom I will treasure for the rest of my life, and have become part of a community that is unlike any other I’ve experienced.
Describe your favorite Mock Trial Association memory.
It was my second mock trial tournament ever. We were going to upstate New York in the middle of winter on a Friday — a six-hour ride on a snowy December night. We were all in this giant van, driving through the most haunted woods I’d ever seen. Seriously, I have never seen trees that look more like giant hands reaching out from the edges of the road waiting for you to get just a liiitle bit closer. Everyone was justifiably freaked out, but we were also all together.
We were supposed to be practicing material on our way to the tournament, but the ambiance made serious work a bit challenging. So, we just started talking. After a bit, the world seemed slightly less dark and cold and scary. In our clumsy white van, hurtling down a backwoods New York road in the middle of the night, I felt for the first time how warm and bright a community could be. That was when I knew I would be in mock trial for the long haul.
Are there leadership opportunities within the Mock Trial Association?
We have an executive board made up of seven to nine people (depending on need), as well as captaining positions. There are three to four teams a year, and two captains per team. The executive board is administration, while captainships are competition-focused.
Who is the association open to? How can interested students get involved?
All undergraduate students of all majors can get involved. Many of our competitors have no interest in going to law school, while many others can’t wait to take their LSATs! Interested students should come to tryouts in the fall and spring terms. The next available tryout period will be in the first couple of weeks of spring term. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot early for spring tryouts. We look forward to hearing from you!