Hoping to clinch a state title, Northside High School’s mock trial teams are headed to Lake Charles this weekend.

Two teams of eight students from Northside will battle other schools from across the state in the competition, which will be held Saturday at the 14th Judicial District Courthouse.

The teams are vying for top honors in the 2015 Judge Richard N. Ware IV Memorial High School Mock Trial.

Northside teams placed first and second in regional competition to secure two spots in the state competition. The top mock trial team from Saturday’s competition will go on to represent Louisiana in a national competition in Raleigh, North Carolina, May 14-16.

“This is one of the best teams we’ve had in a while,” said Liz Tullier, Northside High legal academy director.

As part of the state competition, teams try a case with one side playing the role of prosecution and the other the role of defense. Points are awarded based on courtroom etiquette, quality of their legal presentation and overall teamwork.

The mock trial scenario for the upcoming competition, written by the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s mock trial team, involves the second-degree murder of a north Louisiana woman who was bludgeoned to death.

Last year, Northside High’s mock trial team was selected by Harvard University to participate in a mock trial training seminar, where members of the team received feedback on their approaches and learned more about courtroom proceedings.

The team was also invited in 2014 for the second year in a row to the Empire Mock Trial Association’s international competition in Brooklyn, New York, as well as a high school competition at Yale University.