“I object!” This is just one of many common phrases heard in the courtroom. This same phrase is spoken by HR students as the opportunity to participate in a courtroom has been made available through Mock Trial.
“Mock Trial is a chance for kids to serve in the roles of attorneys and/or witnesses and to learn more about the law. For some kids, it’s a great place to do acting; for some kids, it’s a great place for them to work on academics,” said Chris Page, Mock Trial sponsor.
Page started Mock Trial because of the potential academic and debate skills he’s seen within HR. The first ever HR Mock Trial team competed last semester in the Providence Cup. “We competed in the Providence Cup tournament hosted and organized by the law school at DU. It’s a tournament open to teams from across America, so we competed against groups from Hawaii, Las Vegas, etc,” said Trevor Vogel, senior. The team had a very successful competition and won the Spirit Award after they were nominated the “nicest” team by their competitors.
Unfortunately, the Mock Trial team could not compete this semester because they lacked the necessary number of students to adequately prepare and compete. “It takes a lot of learning to compete in such a really tough intellectual competition. We didn’t have enough students that had a clear enough schedule to put in the time,” said Adam Klein, senior.
Mock Trial is similar to a play performance in that the students involved have to memorize lines and play character roles. “Being a witness is super fun because you are going up there and you are playing a role. It’s kind of like theatre because you are pretending to be someone. You are that person from the moment the competition starts to the moment it ends,” said Klein.
Mock Trial not only informs students about civil and criminal court cases and the inner workings of the United States court system, but the skills acquired can carry over into other aspects of life. “I recommend this club to all students! Whether you are into the law scene or not, this club can help you in so many ways. It helped me become a better critical thinker, a much better public speaker, and it taught me so many valuable lessons,” said Brittney Kerr, senior.
Many of the Mock Trial veterans from last semester would agree-Mock Trial helps students better articulate their words and think on their feet. Klein said, “Everyone can focus on taking out the “likes” and the “ums” of their speeches. It’s really important that when you go up for an official speech that you can just flow right through them without hesitating; you don’t have to use those filler words.”
Although the Mock Trial team is new and still in the process of gaining traction, anyone is welcome to join. “I want to grow our program to be able to provide at least two teams, if not three,” said Page. To join the Mock Trial team simply contact Page. The team hopes to start back up at the end of August.
Emma Atchison, Online Editor