News and Events

Mock Trial and We the People Registration and Materials!

16 October, 2018

Please be on the lookout for registration for both We the People and Mock Trial on November 1.

New! We are excited to announce the following change to Mock Trial.

 Beginning November 1, the case materials will be available to all to download. There will no longer be a need to pay and register in advance of receiving the materials. Instead, simply provide your contact information, and you can download the case materials for free and begin your 2018-2019 Mock Trial journey. Our hope is that this practice ensures greater accessibility for materials to the entire community.

Do register for your region of choice asap! Registration will also be open November 1 and continue through January 11.

Mock Trial Regional Dates

February 23, 2019 - Washtenaw County Regional, Ann Arbor

March 2, 2019 -       Macomb County Regional, Mt. Clemens**

March 9, 2019  - Oakland County Regional. Pontiac

March 16, 2019   - Kent County Regional, Grand Rapids

State Finals, March 23, 2019 in Lansing

We the People State Finals and Showcase

01 October, 2018

We the People State Showcase and Competition will be held January 11, 2019. Look for registration materials early November. 

Mock Trial Clinic Announced!

01 October, 2018

Join us for this year's Mock Trial clinic on Monday, December 17 and the Hall of Justice in Lansing.

NEW! We will be adding sections for Courtroom Artist and Courtroom Journalism. 

Look for registration information early November online.

James Madison Legacy Project Summer Institute: July 23-27

01 June, 2018

Calling All Secondary School Social Studies Teachers! Register Now for the Summer Institute!

Please join the Michigan Center for Civic Education for it's 4th and final cohort of the James Madison Legacy Project designed to provide premium Michigan secondary school teachers with a professional learning opportunity focused on the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program. MCCE funded this initiative through a SEED grant.

Qualifying Michigan teachers can APPLY HERE:  Cohort IV JMLP Application no later than June 11, 2018. More program information is available by opening or downloading our FAQ.

All accommodations and meals are provided, and travel is reimbursed. $100 deposit is required but returned on completion of participation.

Experience this national civics curriculum and learn how to effectively implement it in your own classroom. Transform your classroom through student simulated Congressional hearings focusing on challenges to American Constitutional Democracy in the twenty-first century. 

Professional Learning and Community 

Join mentor teachers and renowned guest speakers to deepen your civic scholarship and expand your craft. Previous institute speakers include Paula McAvoy, Linda Monk, and Mary Beth Tinker. This summer’s speakers to be announced. 

Grow your community and network of fellow enthusiastic Michigan social studies educators! 

Participant Testimonies and Data  

“My classroom pedagogy is more robust and my content knowledge is sharper.” 

• 97% of JMLP teachers agree that they are better equipped to teach their students about American government as a result of the program. 

• 95% of JMLP teachers agree that they are better able to teach students about good citizenship. 

 Questions? Contact Christine Hekman (Coordinator) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Join Us Jan 11-12 in Lansing for Conversations in Civic Education - How "We the Students" become "We the People"

03 January, 2018

Join the Michigan Center for Civic Education  Thursday, January 11 & Friday, January 12, 2018 at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing MI for an exciting 2-Day exploration of civil discourse curriculum and pedagogy - How "We the Students" become "We the People." 

Enjoy an evening of conversation in civic education Thursday with Dinner, keynote speakers and breakout sessions. Then stay for Friday's high school state finals of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution. Featured Speakers include Paula McAvoy, Mary Beth Tinker, Tamara Shreiner and Robert Leming.

Thursday - Jan. 11

5:30 p.m. Welcome and introduction to We the People and the James Madison Legacy Project

6:00 p.m. Dinner and Keynote speaker, Paula McAvoy, author of The Political Classroom.

7:00 p.m. Breakout sessions

8:00 p.m. A Conversation with MaryBeth Tinker

8:45 Civic Social Hour

Friday - Jan. 12

8:30 a.m. - We the People State Finals begin. Through a learning lab, explore how simulated Congressional hearings transforms students into informed civic leaders.

Cost: $75

Your registration fee secures your seat. Enjoy dinner, discussion, and a talk with Mary Beth Tinker, plus our civic ed social. Includes complementary MCCE membership.

Register at



Sign Up Open for Practice Mock Trial Clinic

30 October, 2017


Get ready for the MCCE Mock Trial season by registering your team for our Mock Trial Practice Clinic, scheduled for Dec. 14, 2017 at the Michigan Hall of Justice, Learning Center.

Our clinic will help students learn courtroom skills under the guidance of experienced trial attorneys and tournament judges. Clinic participants take part in sessions devoted to improving mock trial skills such as:

  • Theme, Theory, and Analysis
  • Opening Statements and Closing Arguments
  • Direct Examination and Cross-examination
  • Being an effective witness
  • Handling of Evidence and Exhibits
  • Objections and Responses
  • Courtroom Do's and Dont's
  • A Judge's Perspective
  • Coach's Corner
Cost for registration is $10 per student. Register online no later than December 7thto participate. 

This year’s clinic will include a tour of the Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center and, if scheduling permits, a visit to the Michigan Supreme Court Chambers! Register Online today!


Sign Up Now to be a Mock Trial Judge or Court Officer!

30 October, 2017


The Michigan Center for Civic Education is seeking volunteers to serve as Judges and Court Officers for the 2018 Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament.

The Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament involves teams of high-school students taking on the roles of attorneys and witnesses competing against other schools in courtrooms across the state, in front of real judges and lawyers, under the supervision of their teachers and attorney coaches.


The competition dates are as follows:


◦ February 24, 2018 -  Washtenaw County Regional, Ann Arbor

◦ March 3, 2018 -  Macomb County Regional, Mt. Clemens

◦ March 10, 2018 - Oakland County Regional. Pontiac

◦ March 17, 2018 -  Kent County Regional, Grand Rapids

• The top 10 teams will compete in the State Finals on March 24, 2018 in Lansing. (Experienced Judges only, please.)


These events require over 200 volunteer judges and dozens of court officers. 

For more information or to register as a judge or court officer, visit






Registration Now Open For 2018 Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament

30 October, 2017

 The Michigan Center for Civic Education is pleased to announce that registration is now open for high schools to register for the 2018 Mock Trial Tournament. 

 Regional competitions will take place on the following dates: 

  • February 24, 2018 - Washtenaw County Regional, Ann Arbor

  • March 3, 2018 - Macomb County Regional, Mt. Clemens

  • March 10, 2018 -  Oakland County Regional. Pontiac

  • March 17, 2018 - Kent County Regional, Grand Rapids

The top 10 teams will compete in the State Finals on March 24, 2018 in Lansing.

The state champions will be eligible to compete in the National Mock Trial Championship in Reno, Nevada, May 10-13, 2018.

 The 2018 Mock-Trial case promises to be relevant, challenging and thought-provoking. The topic will be announced in early November.

The MHSMTT has been organized and conducted by the Michigan Center for Civic Education since 1982. Teams of 6-10 students present arguments before panels of three judges per courtroom. One judge presides over the trial, while the others serve as the jury.

The Michigan High school Mock Trial Tournament is made possible through support from the State Bar of Michigan, Oakland County Bar Foundation, Litigation Section, State Bar of Michigan, and the Macomb County Bar Foundation.

More information about the Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament and how to register is available at



'Mock' Madness: Tournament tests trial skills of young students

22 March, 2017

By Linda Laderman
Legal News

More than 600 high school students from across the state are participating in the 2017 Michigan Center for Civic Education’s (MCCE) annual Mock Trial Tournament.

According to Linda Start, MCCE’s executive director, the issue this year involves allegations of excessive force by a police officer.

“It’s timely,” Start said. “The case was chosen with input from the Michigan State Police. We wanted to make sure it was a balanced presentation of an important issue.”

Since 2003, the Oakland County Bar Foundation has contributed $70,000 to help sponsor the tournament. It is money well spent, said Kaveh Kashef, president of the OCBF.

“We are very judicious and educated stewards with our donations. Sponsoring the Mock Trial Tournament falls squarely into our mission to bring a strong understanding of the law and the Constitution to high school students,” Kashef said.

Through its sponsorship of the event, the OCBF aims to give its participants a hands-on experience in a real world setting, Kashef noted.

“The mock trials demystify the legal process by giving students access to working attorneys and judges in a way that movies and books can’t,” Kashef said. “The tournament provides an avenue for the kids to challenge convention. That is the best way education can be achieved.”

The stature of the judiciary as it relates to the current national political dialogue has made educational events like the mock trials a priority for the OCBF, according to Kashef.

“To have an understanding of the intersection of the law and politics and how it impacts all of our lives is more important than ever,” Kashef said. “Not only is the Supreme Court highly politicized, but in light of issues like the Affordable Care Act, the law has become more prevalent in the discourse of daily lives.”

To further strengthen the educational ties between the legal community and the community at-large, volunteers like Victoria King, a judicial staff attorney for the Oakland County Circuit Court, give a significant amount of their time to coach and judge the 62 teams that are registered for this year’s tournament.

 King, who also is an OCBF Fellow, said she became a volunteer observer to support the OCBF and because she wanted to be part of a program that helps teach its young participants to “think on their feet.”

“I see the excitement the kids have and think, ‘You’re at the beginning of your life. You can do something if you set your mind to it,’” King said. “The world is very open to them. The mock trials teach them to think for themselves and not just take what is given to them.”

A former quality assurance engineer who attended law school as a working parent, King said she believes in the high schoolers’ ability to take on new challenges as they progress through the tournament.

“Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to get started, but you won’t really know until you try,” King said. “These kids are building a skill that is essential to their future.”

With volunteers like King and the support of the OCBF, Start said she is looking forward to the March 25th state finals in Lansing.

“Volunteers act as team coaches, trial judges, and court officers.  The lawyer and teacher coaches work with high school teams for several months leading up to the competition,” Start said.

“We wouldn’t have had 34 years of successful tournaments without the OCBF and our volunteers. Their support has been vitally important to our infrastructure as a whole.”

The Michigan Center for Civic Education is a non-partisan 501(c)3 corporation, established in 1982 as an organization “solely dedicated to preparing an active and informed citizenry through law-related and civic education.”

Besides the Mock Trial Tournament, the MCCE provides programs for teachers, students and the community “that reflect best practices in civic and law-related education and provide experiences that are relevant, rigorous, and connected to real life.”

James Madison Legacy Project: Sign up Now!

01 March, 2017

The Michigan Center for Civic Education invites you to join a premier group of secondary teachers in a professional learning opportunity focused on the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program. MCCE was awarded funding by the Center for Civic Education through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED). The grant supports peofessional development to qualifying Michigan Teachers.


MCCE’s Resources, Programs, & Lessons

Educating for Citizenship

Educating for Citizenship is a conference for educators and community members that highlights best practices in law-related and civic education in Michigan and nationally.

Civic Education Teacher of the Year Award

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Mock Trial

A Mock Trial is designed to reenact much of what might take place in a trial court.  Students take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses and compete against each other in real courtrooms in front of real judges and lawyers.

"[A] unique opportunity for young people to learn about the legal system..."

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