Discovering Justice kicked off its 20th season of its Mock Trial program in October, with middle school students from a record 24 teams from 12 cities and towns set to tackle the complex intricacies of the First Amendment.
With the expanding number of teams and cities involved in the program, Luke Matys, Discovering Jutice’s Mock Trial Program Manager, is excited to hold the culminating trials in courtrooms across the Commonwealth the week of December 13th. “We are partnering with more teams and in more places than ever before,” Matys said. “The week of Mock Trials will be a wonderful celebration of our student attorneys’ work and a great opportunity for us as a community to support them.”
The Mock Trial program, which runs for 10 weeks, pairs middle school students and legal mentors for weekly sessions to prepare a case before a judge and a jury. The case for this year addresses the contemporary issue of “unpopular speech” on a school campus and how it tests the guarantees of free speech in the First Amendment.
“I love Discovering Justice! I would encourage all lawyers to try it out for a semester and I would also encourage all students that can to sign up,” said Meg Ziegler, a legal mentor from Choate Hall & Stewart, who is working this fall with the students at the Douglas Middle School in Douglas, MA.
Mary Kay Brown, a longtime mock trial partner and Director of Partnerships for the John J. Duggan Academy in Springfield, is also looking forward to giving another group of students the Discovering Justice experience. “It’s just a whole other layer of career awareness,” she said. “We’ve had just so many situations where kids walked away and they just said ‘yeah, this is what I want to do.’”
Discovering Justice will be hosting Mock Trial events in Lowell and Springfield on Tuesday, December 14th, in Boston on Wednesday, December 15th, and in Worcester and New Bedford on Thursday, December 16th. If you are interested in volunteering to hear our students try their cases as a juror, contact Discovering Justice’s Outreach & Recruitment Associate, Malia Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org.