Mock trial is excellent program

Published 9:20 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A group of Nansemond River High School students recently went to trial — but not in a bad way.

The 10 students, split into groups of five, won two different events in a mock judiciary competition on Saturday sponsored by the YMCA and the Young Lawyers Association of the Virginia State Bar.

The students — Justice Rinaldi, Chelsea Blei, Alexis Epps, Kaitlin Graf, Troi Reddick, Brionna Hunter, Michael Govan, Armonee Avent, Gaulvan Key and Madeline Van Dyke — competed against First Colonial High School and Princess Anne High School. In two separate trials, the two teams won guilty and not-guilty verdicts, thereby defeating their opponents.

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For any student who may be considering a career in law, the mock judiciary is a stellar way for them to get a taste of what it might be like to be a prosecutor or defense attorney. Those hoping for a lifetime of acting also could learn quite a few things from the mock judiciary.

But there are a number of benefits to this program, even for those students who are on a path to other careers. Participants would have learned to think on their feet, use sound logic, be more self-confident, develop acute research skills and more.

The students also likely learned something about the American courts system, the importance of justice and their own sense of right and wrong during the program.

The mock judiciary is an excellent program for students to be involved in, and Nansemond River High School and its teachers deserve commendations for making it possible.