High School Mock Trials

Written by Samuel Wong
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Even though she had just been found guilty of grand larceny, all Caitlin could think about was whether her prom dress would be ready by the weekend. High school mock trials are becoming one of the most effective ways of teaching students about the legal system. Students can experience the legal system first-hand, without all of the stress associated with jail time and community service, which is often found in real-life trials.

High school mock trials put students in the thick of the action. Each student in the class can be assigned an individual duty, from judge to bailiff. Since the students are actually taking part in the proceedings, rather than watching them on a video or reading about them in the newspaper, they are more likely to take interest, pay attention, and best of all, learn about what has often been thought of as a boring subject.

High School Mock Trials: Hands-On Learning

There are many possibilities when it comes to putting together high school mock trials. Depending on the experience of your students, you can choose from cases that last just a day, to cases that last a week or more! The longer the trial, the more effort your students will have to put forth, and the more work they do, the more they will learn and retain.

Participating in mock trials, students will learn how to do research and formulate arguments and ideas to prove their case. Students on the jury will utilize analytical and reasoning skills when the time comes for them to deliberate and reach a verdict. All of these activities require much more critical thinking than lectures and assigned reading. High school mock trials not only teach students about the legal system, but it teaches them how it works. When students know more than just the facts about a subject, they understand it a great deal more.


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