October 21, 2007
Volunteers Needed for Mock Trial Competition Oct. 27
Members of the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association will once again serve as mentors and coaches for the High School Mock Trail Competition. This year's competition begins with the Mock Trial Law Camp, set for Saturday, Oct. 27 from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, located at 1719 North Broad Street.
The camp is an intensive all-day training session that couples an instructive component with hands-on training in direct and cross-examination of parties and witnesses. Students get an introduction to the key components of the trial, including the rules of evidence and opening and closing statements.
Attorney volunteers are essential to the success of this program. As group leaders, they guide small teams of students through the entire days program. More than assisting students with preparation and presentation for their trials, attorney volunteers serve as mentors and a resource to high school students, who one day wish to follow in their footsteps to a career in the legal field. Lawyers will be provided with instructions and guidelines to assist in their participation.
After Mock Trial Camp, students from 50 public, private, and parochial schools will compete in a simplified mock trial for the City Mock Trial Championship in the spring. The students are given the opportunity to play the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a fictitious criminal or civil case, focusing on real legal issues. Previous trials have involved the suppression of evidence, hate crimes, constitutional issues, simple negligence matters, civil forfeitures in a criminal context, and 1st degree murder.
YLD volunteer coaches are integral in guiding students in understanding the way a trial works, helping to develop trial strategies, and promoting an understanding of trial fundamentals. The teams compete in a round-robin tournament, with the best teams ultimately advancing to the state championship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to represent the Philadelphia region. The State Champions go on to represent Pennsylvania in the National Finals.
Volunteers are needed to serve as team coaches and judges for the preliminary rounds of the competition. Attorneys interested in volunteering should contact Roberta West or Eleanora Jones at (215) 204-1887. If you have any questions, you may also contact Heather Herrington.