Mock Trial is a hands on approach to teaching students about the legal system. Students learn how to eloquently debate topics and present their arguments in front of real judges and attorneys. The team had its first scrimmage on Tuesday, October 15 at the Santa Barbara courthouse against Newbury Park High School.
This extracurricular activity is a place where academics and competition meet. Students can decipher a case and prove their points and train themselves to make the right decisions under pressure.
“It provides students with the opportunity to compete on a team in an intellectual and academic manner,” said Mr. Burrows, San Marcos History teacher and Prosecution Team Coach for Mock Trial.
Students can watch and learn the way the court systems work, as well as the vocabulary of Mock Trial. “Mock Trial helps students understand the American judicial system,” said freshman, Zoe Reifel.
Trials are set up in a traditional court room. The Constitutional Rights Foundation writes the case for the season. Students audition for their desired role, and the official teams are decided upon by the Mock Trial coaches.This year’s case is the People vs. Concha, a 2nd degree murder case in which a high school band member dies of heart failure after taking the drug, Adderall. Rae Concha, who is also a high school student, is the suspected drug dealer.
“Mock Trial teaches the members how to speak professionally and clearly in a public setting,” added Mr. Burrows.
When presenting their case, students must use legal vocabulary and formulate mature and clear arguments and testimonies. This type of experience benefits students in that they develop the ability to speak on an intellectual level with their peers.Mock Trial is a place where young people can build off of each other and learn from their mistakes and also learn a sense of competition on an intellectual level. The skills they gain will help them in the future.