Where are you now?
How, if at all, did the Empire help you get there?
Empire was the first time that I seriously considered competing in Mock Trial at the collegiate level. During my time at Empire, I had the opportunity to meet with the Furman University coach and recruiter. Although I didn’t end up attending Furman University, I quickly signed up for the mock trial team at UNC. In my first year at UNC, I was made tournament director of the UNC AMTA Regional Competition and a team captain, earning a bid to ORCS. Empire showed me that mock trial was more than just a 3 hour event in a courtroom. Mock Trial has opened so many doors for me to learn leadership, perfect my public speaking skills, and test my ability to think quickly.
What’s your favorite Empire moment?
My favorite moment at Empire happened after the closing award ceremony. We had received, or thought we received, third place, only 1 point short of the final round. Slightly disappointed, although still elated at our accomplishment, we had all changed clothes and begun to make our way to visit New York City. I was walking down the street when my phone rang. I don’t even remember what my coach said, but the next 5 minutes were a blur. I ran down the streets of New York City shouting “THEY MISCOUNTED THE BALLOTS. WE’RE IN THE FINAL ROUND!” Running back to the hotel, we scrambled to find our bags, hoping they hadn’t been transferred to the bus station. Frantically finding business attire, I didn’t have time to even process the fact that we were in the final round of an international competition. That moment, the moment when I was running down the streets of New York City screaming at the top of my lungs, was definitely a moment that will never be forgotten.
How would you describe the Empire to someone that has never been?
Empire is an incredible gathering of students uniting with one common passion: mock trial. You see the best of the best and meet people who are very similar and very different from you. Empire is not just another mock trial competition. It’s a lifetime experience that will stay with you longer than any other academic event.