New in 2020! The NC Mock Trial Program is pleased to offer a Courtroom Artist Competition at both the Regional and State Finals levels of the NCAJ High School Mock Trial Competition.
The tradition of courtroom drawing began in the United States in 1935 as a response to the media circus over the kidnapping and killing of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s infant son. After distracting flashing lights overtook the court, the American Bar Association banned cameras, leaving news outlets to seek alternate means of coverage. By the mid-1970s, with the advent of improved camera technology, some U.S. courts relaxed their camera restrictions. However, those experiments didn’t work well, as evidenced by the other media circus that was the O. J. Simpson murder case in 1994. Today, cameras are still banned from federal courts, and state courts only allow cameras at the discretion of the judge. Therefore, courtroom artists continue to be an important part of the U.S. justice system. Several years ago, the U.S. Library of Congress offered an exhibition of 98 courtroom drawings, highlighting this storied art form.
Who can participate?
Each school/homeschool group that has registered a team for the NCAJ High School Mock Trial Competition can enroll one student to compete in the Courtroom Artist competition (The registration fee is $25). Schools with multiple registered teams can enroll one courtroom artist student per team. To register, click here.