Record Number of Teams Turn Out for Spring Mock Appeal Program

With a record number 22 teams participating, Discovering Justice’s Mock Appeal Program kicked off its spring program the week of March 8th. 

The Mock Appeal Program, formerly known as Stand Up for Your Rights, follows a similar structure to Discovering Justice’s Mock Trial Program. Through weekly 90-minute sessions with legal mentors over a course of 11 weeks, students transform into appellate attorneys and conclude the program by presenting oral arguments in front of a panel of federal and state judges and senior attorneys. 

This spring’s teams are from the communities of Boston, Brookline, Danvers, Framingham, Lawrence, Lowell, Rehoboth, Somerville, Waltham, and Worcester. The program is supported by more than 70 legal mentors, the most ever engaged in a Discovering Justice program.The legal mentors are  current and former members of private law firms, in-house lawyers, district attorneys, law students,  and public defenders.

If you are interested in learning more about our Mock Appeal or Mock Trial Program, their mentorship opportunities, or are interested in getting your school or firm involved next fall, please email Program Coordinator, Luke Matys, at

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Photo/Reba Saldanha  Discovering Justice Mock Trials December 10, 2019

Mock Trial Program Concludes with 12 Virtual Trials

Presenting in front of federal and state judges, middle school students from Discovering Justice’s Mock Trial Program questioned witnesses and delivered detailed opening and closing arguments in cases concerning free speech and the First Amendment. The trials, held before juries of public officials, legal professionals, and local residents, culminated an 11-week program during which students met with legal mentors who taught the students the workings of the justice system, discussed the ideals of justice, and prepared them for their trials.

Last fall’s program was done virtually, a challenge for the more than 130 students and 60 legal mentors who participated in the program.. “It was a pleasure to watch teams grow a sense of comradery despite never meeting in person. This teamwork allowed them to build important civic knowledge and skills,” said Luke Matys, the coordinator of the Mock Trial Program.

More than 450 people attended the twelve trials which showcased students from middle schools in Boston, Lowell, Waltham, and Somerville. 

“Iti is so different from school. It’s a refreshing change from everything that is happening. . If you were ever wondering that you may want to be a lawyer — just try it.There will never be a more supportive group.”commented Abbie Roskind, an 8th grader from McDevitt Middle School in Waltham.

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Kayla Nordman

Kayla Nordman believes strongly in expanding access to comprehensive civic education to provide the next generation with the resources they need to uphold and expand upon the values of American democracy and create a more equitable future. Before joining Discovering Justice, she worked as a Legislative Intern at the Massachusetts State House and as a Program Manager for the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education. Kayla graduated from Suffolk University with a BA in International Relations.