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March 5, 2019

Sine earns Outstanding Witness as Mock Trial completes season


Harlee Sine earned an Outstanding Witness award as Northwest Missouri State University’s Mock Trial team finished its season at the American Mock Trial Association Regional Tournament Feb. 16-17 at the University of Kansas.

Sine, a senior political science major from Bellevue, Nebraska, earned 18 out of 20 possible points and placed second in the tournament among all witnesses.

Competing against other college and university teams from throughout the region, including the University of Iowa, the University of Nebraska and Northwestern University in Illinois, Northwest’s “A Team” stood in contention to advance to the national tournament throughout the competition but lost the final round to a University of Illinois team that finished second at the tournament.

“We did well despite an incredibly tough draw,” Daniel Smith, the team’s coach and an assistant professor of political science, said, adding it was the best finish by a Northwest team in several years.

The tournament was the last for seniors Jack Camenzind, Megan Clasen, Grace Eagan, Danielle Lawton, Sine, Lauren Mills Taylor and Bradley Taylor, who account for two outstanding attorney awards and two outstanding witness awards during their Mock Trial careers.

Northwest’s mock trial team competes in regional and national competitions sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association. Students prepare cases and play the roles of attorneys and witnesses during simulated trials before professional judges and attorneys. Mock trial gives undergraduate students an opportunity to learn firsthand about the judicial process and the work of trial attorneys in addition to honing presentation and communications skills.

“The thing I love most about Mock Trial is it is extremely applicable to real-life situations,” Sine, an active participant in Mock Trial since her freshman year, said. “Mock Trial really gives anyone who is interested in pursuing law school a foot in the door and puts them a little bit ahead of other law students. Over time, however, I discovered that law school wasn’t the appropriate fit for me. I still feel that Mock Trial was advantageous because it taught me speaking skills, work ethic and commitment.”

Smith noted several mock trial participants continue their education at law schools, and some receive significant scholarship offers.

“They’re hopefully taking away the positive experience of being part of a team that grew as a team – not just individually,” Smith said. “The growth in attorney-witness chemistry, attorneys working together in scrimmages, independently throughout the year, during and between tournament rounds was fun to watch.”

Eagan serves as the team’s 2018-19 president. Clasen is vice president and competition team captain, and Lawton is secretary. Lauren Taylor was treasurer during the fall and Matthew Berry serves in the role for the spring.

For more information about mock trial, visit The American Mock Trial Association, or contact Smith at 660.562.1293 or desmith@nwmissouri.edu.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468