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.