Des Moines is welcoming more than 800 visitors, including 500 students, from around the country this week. The 27th Annual College Mock Trial National Championships will take place April 15-17. Forty-eight teams will compete for the title of best mock trial team in the USA.

"We're proud to again host this event in Des Moines," said Vicki Comegys, Vice President of Sales and Services at the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The College Mock Trial National Championships give our community excellent exposure to college students that will soon be looking for a place to live and work following graduation. We're confident Des Moines will again deliver great hospitality to these students."

Des Moines is an ideal location for the Annual College Mock Trial National Championships since the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) was founded by Dick Calkins, then-Dean of Drake University Law School. The AMTA's headquarters remain in West Des Moines.

The public is welcome to attend and watch as teams play the roles of attorneys and witnesses this weekend. The opening meeting for all teams is at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 15 at Hy-Vee Hall. Four rounds of trials will take place at the Polk County Courthouse, the United States District Courthouse and the Polk County Convention Complex. The awards ceremony for all teams will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 17 at the Polk County Convention Complex. The National Champion will be crowned at the Drake Legal Clinic at 24th and University in Des Moines at approximately 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 17.

Opportunities for still photos and video taping are available. Interviews with tournament organizers and students can be arranged upon request. For more information, please contact AMTA President David Nelmark at or (515) 988-0447.