The Los Angeles Mock Trial Program is an academic competition in which senior high schools and middle schools compete at the county level. This year, participation is expected to include over 2,000 students in Los Angeles County. The trial itself is a simulation of a criminal case, in which students portray each of the principals in the cast of courtroom characters. Student teams study a hypothetical case, conduct legal research, and receive guidance from volunteer attorneys in courtroom procedures and trial preparation. Students participate as lawyers, witnesses, court clerks, and bailiffs, thus acquiring a working knowledge of our judicial system. The Mock Trial Program encourages young people to develop their analytical abilities and communication skills while gaining increased self-confidence.