The Department of Political Science provides rigorous and well-rounded undergraduate training in Pre-law, American Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations.
The Benedictine University Mock Trial program has been under the direction of Dr. Tammy Sarver since her arrival to Benedictine in 2001. As part of the American Mock Trial Association, Benedictine mock trial teams have competed in both criminal and civil trial simulations all over the region and all over the country.
Each year, interested Benedictine students - both majors and non-majors alike - enroll in PLSC 237-Trial Practice, where students not only earn three credits towards graduation (and for majors, towards their major checklist), but are given the exciting opportunity to compete with other schools in regional and national AMTA sanctioned competitions.
Students are provided with a "mock" case each fall by officials at the American Mock Trial Association. The type of case alternates between a civil and a criminal suit every other year. When students register for the course, they are provided with all the materials necessary to conduct a trial, including complaints and answers, witness statements, medical reports, police reports, and any relevant physical evidence. Once these materials are received, the mock trial students immediately begin to learn "the tools of the trade", including the rules of criminal and civil procedure, the rules of evidence, how to draft direct and cross-examination questions, and tips on writing effective opening and closing statements.
After engaging in "scrimmages" with local schools, such as North Central College and Elmhurst College, Benedictine's mock trial students are ready for their AMTA sponsored regional competitions typically held in February. Benedictine students typically compete in these "regionals" at Notre Dame, and in the past have been proud to receive winning bids to the AMTA national competitions held in St. Paul, Minnesota and St. Petersburg, Florida.
While Dr. Sarver was on sabbatical last fall, a former mock trial student of Dr. Sarver's and graduate of the University of Chicago School of Law, Brett Natarelli, J.D., took over the program. As a young attorney, Mr. Natarelli brought to the classroom many exciting and new perspectives. As a result of the success of last year's program, Mr. Natarelli will be assisting Dr. Sarver in the future with Benedictine's mock trial program.
For more detailed information about Mock Trial please go to: http://www.collegemocktrial.org/welcome/welcome.php.