Here’s how to run a trial without being a lawyer!
Ever wondered how a student might get to feel what it’s like to run a trial, without having to get a law degree first? The answer of course, is through participating in Mock Trials at school!
In Western Australia the Law Society of WA runs Mock Trials for students in years 10, 11 and 12. The Law Society says the following of Mock Trials:
“A mock trial is a simulated court case in which teams contest a fictitious legal matter presented in the Western Australia court system. The cases are presented by two teams – a prosecution/plaintiff team and a defence/defendant team – made up of students playing the roles of barristers, solicitors, witnesses and court officials.
The Mock Trial Competition provides an enjoyable, dynamic way of introducing students to the law. It provides students with an opportunity to learn valuable skills in research and in the development and presentation of a persuasive argument.”
This year there are over 120 teams competing in the Law Society’s Mock Trial competition, with 1302 students taking part.
The trials are held at the Supreme Court in Stirling Gardens, so that the students get to appreciate the “feel” of being in a court room.
The “judges” for the trials are volunteer lawyers. Each team is coached by volunteer lawyers, in conjunction with a teacher from the school.
Both last year and this year Lynn & Brown director Jacqueline Brown has had the pleasure of coaching a team from Trinity (the photo is of the 2018 team).
Jacqueline says, “The boys both this year and last year have been an absolute pleasure to work with. It is really rewarding to feel like you are giving back something to the community. I remember participating in Mock Trials when I was at school, and I think it was integral to my decision to study law when I graduated. I am forever grateful to my teacher, Mrs Leanne Davis, and our coach (now) His Honour Judge John Prior (who presides in the District Court). Ms Sonia Scordo at Trinity has been wonderful to work with.”
About the author:
This article has been authored by Jacqueline Brown who is a Perth lawyer and director at Lynn & Brown Lawyers. Jacqui has over 20 years’ experience in legal practice and practices in family law, mediation and estate planning. Jacqui is also a Nationally Accredited Mediator and a Notary Public.