THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE: Indian Hill High School Mock Trial

By  Vandita Rastogi, Indian Hill High School Student Experience Journalist

INDIAN HILL, OH (October 29, 2020) – The stories about auditioning for this club are almost as famous as the actual club … almost.

The Mock Trial Team, Indian Hill High School (Provided)

From singing and dancing, to trying new accents or memorizing a famous speech, students trying out for this prestigious club have tried it all. Some make it, but unfortunately, others don’t. Year after year, this group of dedicated students have made local and even national headlines, winning competition after competition, and getting recognized for their tremendous efforts.

If you don’t already know what club I’m referring to, it’s Indian Hill High School’s very own Mock Trial team. After gaining much acclaim, this October, Yale University invited a group of upperclassmen — Ethan Marx, Sydney Poffenberger, Brooke Youngblood, Audrey Bristol, Sarah Motawi, Tacey Hutten and Claire Hardek — for the first time ever, to compete in their Bulldog Invitational. The team fought well, and as expected, pulled out on top.



But, what really goes on behind the scenes? And, how do they earn their victories time and time again?

I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with junior Tacey Hutten about their pre-competition routine. It turns out Mock Trial Team members dedicate at least six to nine hours of practice a week, balancing not only immediate homework assignments, but also other extracurricular activities as well. To practice for competition, the team spends weeks reading case materials and discussing the argument each witness and attorney will make. The majority of the season is made up of continuous writing, editing, memorization, and practice.

“We understand each other’s individual strengths and weaknesses so well,” Hutten explained. “After playing together for a few seasons, we have a pretty good understanding of how each person writes, acts, and presents, which makes it so much easier to create characters and case theories that complement our abilities well.” 

Indian Hill High School Mock Trial Team Students in Mock Court (Provided)

Although some teams take time to bond together, Hutten recalls that their team clicked pretty instantly. Having played together many times before their Yale competition, they were able to start working right away. Further, she says that the group has become close friends due to Mock Trial, extending their friendship beyond the club. 

Overall, Hutten’s favorite memories about Mock Trial include spending time with the people.

“The community we have within this program and team is really unique and something I’m grateful to be a part of,” said Hutten, despite practice and competition that she said can feel overwhelming.

Indian Hill is very fortunate to have an incredible set of students who are passionate about Mock Trial and dedicate their time to ensure success in competitions. I’m fortunate to know many of these people and can attest that they truly love it and it definitely shows up in their national acclaim. So, if you see any of these attorneys or witnesses in the hallways, make sure to congratulate them on their big win!

Vandita Rastogi is a student at Indian Hill High School sharing the “Student Experience” through journalism for Loveland Beacon:

More about Indian Hill Schools at:

Vandita Rastogi, Indiian Hill High School – Student Experience Journalist (Provided)