Judge at Empire New York

October 12-14, 2019
U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y.

Have Fun. Make a Difference. Judge Mock Trial.

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If you join us as a judge at Empire New York, you should expect the following:

  • To judge at least one 2.5 – 3 hour trial; however, you are welcome to judge more than one (many of our volunteers judge several)
  • To attend a 30 – 45 minute orientation
  • To report to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York at one (or more) of the following times:
    • Sat, 10/12 – 9:30 AM (Round 1) or 2:45 PM (Round 2)
    • Sun, 10/13 – 9:30 AM (Round 3) or 2:45 PM (Round 4)
    • Mon, 10/14 –  10:00 AM (Championship Round)
  • To serve as a presiding judge or scoring juror; both roles require you to provide written feedback for the students
    • If you are interested in presiding, you will be asked to review more materials than a scoring juror
  • To offer 5 minutes of verbal feedback after the trial
  • To listen to an interesting pre-trial oral argument, and ask questions of the student advocates if you are the presiding judge
  • To enjoy complimentary food as a token of our appreciation
  • To spend somewhere between 3.5 – 4.5 hours at the courthouse, if you are judging one trial
  • To earn (3) CLE credits, if you complete the three parts of judging (attend orientation, judge the trial and offer post-round feedback)
    • The CLE credits are non-transitional (not for newly admitted attorneys, see here)
    • You cannot earn more than (3) CLE credits for judging more than one trial (NYSBA rules, not ours)
    • Certificates are e-mailed 6-8 weeks after the competition

Last year’s Empire New York competition featured schools from 6 countries (Canada, China, Ireland, Korea, United Kingdom and United States).

If you are interested in making a monetary donation to support our students, please go to empiremocktrial.org/give. All donations are tax deductible.



  • Empire Mock Trial is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Read about our mission.
  • We host mock trial programs for high school students in New York, San Francisco and now Atlanta.
  • Since 2007, Empire has educated over 5,000 students from 7 countries. Read about our global network.
  • Learn about the lives that we’ve touched by watching our impact video to the right.



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“The Empire Mock Trial competition provides an excellent learning opportunity for all participants. Not only have our students from Jonesboro High School expanded their legal knowledge, but they have also benefited from the unique cultural experience of interacting with students from other states and countries.”

– Honorable John Carbo, Chief Judge Emeritus, State Court of Clayton County, GA

Don’t take our word for it—hear what our judges have to say:

Paul LaFata Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP

Empire NY 2010 - 2016

Empire SF 2014 - 2016

Empire ATL 2015 - 2016

Why volunteer?

  • It’s fun. Our cases are fascinating. The kids are immensely talented, energetic and diverse—you could be judging a student from Atlanta or Korea!
  • It’s rewarding. By volunteering your time, you are making an impact in the lives of young people. You’re teaching them about the law and empowering them to be better thinkers and speakers;
  • It’s a community. Our staff and volunteers (just like our students) are tight knit. They’re enthusiastic. By volunteering, you are joining an Empire Family of 3,500 worldwide;

Don’t take our word for it—hear what our judges have to say:

G. Aaron James Law Offices of G. Aaron James

Empire NY 2011 - 2016


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