Mock Trial turns Helias Students into Lawyers By Lucas Kirchner

Mock Trial had their third meeting last Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Last year, Helias had an 11 student team for Mock Trial, and this year they are trying to double the membership participation. This year, the club will have new events, such as touring the old prison, a bake sale, movie clips, and their usual mock trials. This club is a way for students to meet new people, to learn professional speaking skills, and to litigate like a professional lawyer.

“The skills you learn in Mock Trial,” said Zach Gaines, adding, “can go towards whatever your do in life.” Mock Trial will help the students develop speaking skills and will teach them to think on their feet, during the mock trial competitions. Mock Trial teaches things most students won’t learn in high school, such as fingerprint analysis, business partnerships, and entomology.

Later in the year the biggest event for mock trial starts. This event is a trial case competition. The Mock Trial team will receive actual depositions that were sent out to make a case, and show from both sides the guilty, not guilty, facts, and truths. They will go up against other schools’ mock trial teams in front of judges at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

“The competition runs like a real court trial, except there is no winner,” Gaines said. “All the participants are simply scored by three to five judges.”

This is the only club that gives the opportunity for the students to do court cases in actual courtrooms, where they get to play the role as a lawyer or witness, argue about the laws, and get to ask for a guilty or not guilty verdict in a real trial setting.

This year, to help improve and fine tune the critical thinking process and create logical and persuasive written litigation documents, students will work one on one with attorneys.

“The public sees lawyers as ridged and no good people, but this Mock Trial team is the opposite,” Gaines said. “Not only have we been successful, but we had a blast doing it.”

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