Mock Trial Returns to Final 4

March Madness continues for Winsor’s Mock Trial team.

With a nail-biting win on Thursday, it’s on to the “Final 4” for Winsor. On Monday, March 18, Winsor will face Marshfield High School in the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston. The state finals await the winner.

While trials don’t come much closer than the team’s two-point win in the “Sweet 16” round, Winsor emerged victorious in Thursday’s “Elite 8” round by virtue of a one-point tiebreaker over the Maimonides School of Brookline!

Since the tourney that gives a nod to the annual excitement of NCAA basketball championships, tri-captain Corinne Candilis extends the sports analogy. “Sometimes Mock Trial can feel like an individual sport because you are performing your part on your own, but we all work together at council’s table,” she says. “No one is solely focused on their own role. On trial day we perform for each other. That’s what makes this sport and this team special.”

The key to success this year? To junior Sara Zhou, “it’s definitely the leadership of our three outstanding and inspiring captains [seniors Corinne, Pavlina Karafillis and Ellie Bridge]; we wouldn’t be half the team we are without them.”

So what’s it like? “Imagine combining acting and debating and then putting that on steroids,” adds Sara. “No other activity teaches you how to communicate and think on your feet on the same level. Lawyers need to analyze the opposing side’s argument, apply it to the rules of evidence, come up with two ways to counter it, and then organize all of that into a concise, three-sentence response. And they have about 10 seconds to do it. After managing that, class presentations and discussions seem like a piece of cake.”

That quick-thinking aspect is what Corinne enjoys most. “You never know what the other team will respond to your cross or what they will object to in your direct,” she explains. “Taking the rules of evidence and the case materials and trying to form logical arguments on the spot is really an amazing exercise.”

The Winsor team has been furiously working to prepare for the tournament, spending hours together on late-night Skype calls and weekend meetings. “There is nothing quite so satisfying as seeing your hard work pay off when you face off against a tough opponent,” says Sara.

She loves the camaraderie. “As they say, we win together and we lose together,” she says. So far, winning together has become a habit.

Click here for more on the team's earlier tourney wins.