Since 1988, hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of students from Georgia's public schools, private schools and homeschool organizations have participated in the Georgia HSMTC. Coached by volunteer attorneys and teachers, teams work together to prepare trial presentations from case materials created by the Problem Subcommittee of the High School Mock Trial Committee. In the competition, students undertake the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a court case. Professional attorneys and judges serve as the presiding judges and juror/evaluators in competition rounds. Teams are evaluated on their ability to make a logical, cohesive and persuasive presentation, rather than on the legal merits of the case.
Adding to the authenticity of the competition, teams compete in actual courtrooms across the state beginning with the Regional competitions. The top teams from each Region advance to the District competitions, and the top two teams from each District advance to the State Finals in Lawrenceville, to compete for the State Championship and the opportunity to advance to the National High School Mock Trial Championship.
In addition to the statewide competition, the Mock Trial Program oversees other activities designed to increase students' understanding of and appreciation for the law, court procedures and the legal system. Most notable is Law Academy, an immersive three day “boot camp” held in early autumn each year. This year's Law Academy was held in September and included a record 48 student attendees!