By June Peers
The newest addition to the school’s wide array of academic teams this year is the Mock Trial Team. The main purpose of Mock Trial is to give students a platform to express their interests in law, along with gaining public speaking and critical thinking skills. Like many of the academic teams on campus, Mock Trial is very complex and requires high levels of intelligence, confidence, and boldness.
A couple of months before the competition, members are given a 100-page case packet that they must study. This packet contains witness statements, exhibits, and laws. To properly showcase a courtroom environment, many roles are available to participants, including pre-trial attorneys, trial attorneys, clerks, bailiffs, team managers, courtroom artists and journalists.
The president and founder, junior Maryanne Alhallak, has high aspirations for the Mock Trial Team. She hopes the team will be as successful as other established academic teams, such as Model United Nations and Academic Decathlon, which are held in such high esteem.
To gain this reputation, the team is working incredibly hard for the upcoming Los Angeles County Mock Trial Competition. After competing in four rounds throughout November and early December, the team will know whether they qualify for the state competition. If they are to do as such, they will compete in another four rounds throughout March for the opportunity to advance to the national competition in May.
If the team does not advance to state, they plan on competing in the Sacramento Mock Trial Competition in March. With this additional practice, they hope that in the following year, they can advance further in the Los Angeles County Mock Trial Competition.
The number of students who attended Mock Trial’s informational meeting far surpassed that of other academic teams such as the debate team. Though 70 students showed an interest in joining, Mock Trial chooses its participants based on their skill to reenact their role in a law-based environment properly. Due to their selectiveness and the limited number of members that are allowed to compete, currently, there are 37 official members.
“We have received lots of love from all those who joined, including from the board members that help me every day, from the attorney coach who finds time in his busy schedule to attend our practices, and from our wonderful advisor, Mr. Kim,” Maryanne Alhallak, junior and Mock Trial president said.
With Mock Trial already having accomplished so much in just a few short months, the team certainly will succeed throughout the school year. Hopefully, as the years progress, they will gain a legacy just as glorious as the other academic teams.