Mock Trial Teams Host 10-Team Intercollegiate Regional Tournament

On January 20, Kent State University welcomed over 120 college students from across the region to its “Golden Flash Legal Clash,” a two-day collegiate mock trial invitational held in the Kent Student Center. Proceeds from the event helped to raise funds for future events that Kent State’s Mock Trial teams plan to attend.

Case Western University wins award Sunday, January 21, at Golden Flash Legal Clash competition at Kent State University
Case Western University wins award at Golden Flash Legal Clash competition at Kent State University

The 10 student teams, including some from out-of-state, competed in four rounds. Teams from Case Western Reserve University finished first and second with third place going to a team from William & Mary. The opening and closing ceremonies were held in the Kent State Governance Chambers. 

“It is truly incredible to watch a hard-working and dedicated group of students work through four rounds of a challenging legal case,” Erin Franczak, academic program coordinator in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State, said. “You can see the dedication and passion that these students have toward Mock Trial.”

This invitational was a precursor to the national American Mock Trial Association-sponsored regional tournament that both of Kent State’s teams (Blue and Gold) will be competing in at Pennsylvania State University on February 3 - 4, 2024. If either of the Kent teams are successful, they’ll earn a bid to compete in Cincinnati from March 16 - 17, 2024.

To learn more about what mock trial teams do, visit:

About Kent State’s Mock Trial Teams
The Kent State Mock Trial teams are student-run, legal-focused clubs committed to providing first-hand trial, presentation and debate experience to undergraduate students of all majors. The team consists of 17 members and is coached by Criminology Professor Patricia Lowery, who volunteers her time.

Vivian Hawk, treasurer and tournament director, hands out awards for winning teams at the Golden Flash Legal Competition Sunday January 21
Vivian Hawk, treasurer and tournament director, hands out awards for winning teams at the Golden Flash Legal Competition Sunday January 21. 

Every year, the Kent State Mock Trial teams, along with hundreds of other mock trial teams from universities across the country, receive a "mock trial case" from the American Mock Trial Association. Students work together to form a legal argument centered around the facts provided in the annual mock trial case, portray attorneys and witnesses in the case, and compete against other schools to hone their public speaking, critical thinking, and legal argument skills.

In December, the Kent State team brought two teams to attend their first invitational tournament, hosted at Lewis University in Chicago. They competed against 17 mock trial teams from other universities across the country. Of only 20 available Outstanding Witness and Outstanding Attorney awards, the Kent State University team brought home five Outstanding Awards: Outstanding Witness by Peyton DeForce, Double Outstanding Witness by Rose Martyn (the team’s president), and Double Outstanding Attorney by Vivian Hawk (treasurer and tournament director) the team’s founder.

Other executive board members include Emma Scherer (vice president), Claire Sierota (secretary and tournament director), Lizzie Meyer (social media), and Heavlya Harris and Hailey Cannon (recruitment directors).

In January, the Kent State teams hosted 12 high school mock trial teams on campus. In December, the two teams traveled to Lewis University, near Chicago, and competed in an invitational where they had 3 members winning individual awards.

They also take group tours of law schools, host workshops, scrimmages, fundraising bake sales, and even a murder mystery. They also take pride in their fun memes on Instagram.

Donations support the team’s travel to tournaments and other opportunities for skill development aspiring legal professionals. Contact the coach, Pat Lowery,, or treasurer, Vivian Hawk,, to make a donation.

To learn more about Kent State Mock Trial, visit its Instagram page @kentstatemocktrial.

About the new Pre-Law Center at Kent State University
In June, the Kent State University Board of Trustees established the Pre-Law Center within the College of Arts and Sciences to provide advising, research and cocurricular activities for students across the university. Through the center, students receive advice for planning their path to law school, law school applications, and admissions. They can also access study resources for the LSAT, information on pre-law extracurriculars like the Mock Trial Team, the pre-law academic fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, and pre-law club. The Center also provides law-related programming and information on law-related study-away opportunities and legal careers.

To learn more about the Pre-Law Center, visit: or contact

Pre-Law Minor
The college has a pre-law minor and it can be taken with any major offered across the Kent Campus. The Pre-Law minor provides a background for the study of law through challenging coursework that reinforces and extends the liberal arts foundation gained through the Kent Core. It prepares students for advanced analytical and writing dexterity and introduces them to the social and governmental structures that underlie the law.

"3 Plus 3" Bachelors/Law Accelerated Degree Program
Students can save time and costs by participating in the “Three Plus Three” undergraduate/law degree option (with Cleveland Marshall and University of Akron law schools).

# # #

Media Contacts:
Erin Franczak, (330) 672-2496,
Jim Maxwell, (330) 672-8028,

POSTED: Wednesday, January 24, 2024 04:13 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2024 05:15 PM
Jim Maxwell