By Nicole Gelfman ’18
Mock Trial is a team on which students learn the fundamentals of law and courtroom trials, putting their knowledge to the test for competitions against other schools and future endeavors.
The courtroom debate and how it is structured is what students learn, otherwise known as, Litigation law.
Mock Trial offers a law firm (which differs every year) with lawyers who mentor students and prepare them to handle trials against other schools competing. The competitions occur at varying locations depending on the schools participating.
The team meets on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at Balestriere Fariello, a law firm in downtown Manhattan.
This year’s case involves a robbery and murder that accused a man named Robin Berkman as the culprit.
Lawyers argue their side of whether they find Berkman innocent or guilty and learn the process of speaking and arguing in front of a judge.
Mr. Stuart Rothstein, coordinator of the Moot Court and Mock Trial team since 1993, stated, “The students have to learn how to prepare for the competition by planning, practicing and pacing themselves. This will enable them to do well in school, college and if they wish to enter the field of law.”
There are, however, minor setbacks as Mr.Rothstein said, “There are only limitations when the attorneys who act as the judges do not read the rules or make up their own rules. This upsets the students a great deal.”
Despite the disadvantages, members of the team find it to be an enjoyable experience, even when balancing AP courses, extracurriculars, and additional clubs.
Stella Shulmister’18 stated, “It can be hard to balance schoolwork and being so committed to the team but it’s easier if you really enjoy what you’re doing and have a good time at practices/competition. I would definitely encourage others to join the mock trial team. It’s a great way to make friends that have similar interests as you.”
This program has educated students for decades, giving them the opportunity to see what litigation trials are like and how to present and argue in front of judges and peers.