“We’re excited about how our students have progressed this year,” said HCPA Mock Trial Faculty Advisor Morgan McLaughlin & Melissa Kibler of their team. “This program has been so successful that we have turned it into an after-school activity versus a regular class. That way, if students so choose, they are able to participate in the program throughout their high school career.”
As stated in the organization’s website, The Minnesota High School Mock Trial Program is an exciting law-related education program that introduces students to the American legal system and provides a challenging opportunity for personal growth and achievement. As part of the mock trial program, students will exercise their critical thinking and teamwork skills, as well as the basic skills learned in the classroom. Sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Mock Trial Program also provides participants with the opportunity to work with lawyers and judges who make up the legal system.
In a mock trial, students examine the components and roles played within the legal system process—plaintiffs, defendants, hearings, motions, the judgment and appeals. Over the course of the year, HCPA students have the opportunity to work with real lawyers!
Previous participants in Mock Trial spoke highly of the experience. “Though it was hard work, participating in a mock trial was a lot of fun and a great experience,” stated Steven Yang who played the role of a lawyer. “If you like to argue and have a competitive edge, then mock trial is for you.”
Participation in activities such as Mock Trial enhance student's college applications. Colleges value participation in Mock Trial; in fact, more than 300 universities and colleges, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton field their own Mock Trial teams.
The team is open to all students in grades 8-12. They meet after school twice a week from October to March. They participate in two Saturday scrimmages at the U of M and Macalester College. The competitions start in January and are held weekday evenings at the Ramsey or Hennepin County Courthouses.
“I’m very proud of our Mock Trial participants. They have worked very hard and do a great job,” stated HCPA Superintendent Dr. Christianna Hang. “Mock Trial is yet another example of the interactive programs that our students have the opportunity in which to participate.”