Mock Trial allows students to practice their skills yearly in a courtroom scenario. It also allows students to freely display their curiosity and passion for justice.
“Mock Trial is a chance for students to actually practice in a courtroom, compete in a courtroom, as lawyers, as attornies, defense attornies, prosecutors,” Daniel Stowers, public safety teacher, said.
Stowers leads Ola High School’s mock trial club. The club has a two-month process in which the members receive a case and take it to court as a real trial.
“It helps you understand how the court system and, you know, the justice system works. Oh, and you have to read a lot so it makes you think more analytically and I like that,” Nick Bates, junior, said.
Not only does mock trial help students understand the legal system, but it also guides students to develop useful real-world skills.
“It’s definitely good for communication, debating, learning how to work with others and not argue and instead compare opinions and see how different perspectives can influence what you say and what you do,” Casey Bixby, sophomore, said.
In mock trial, every prospective member is welcome. Current members believe that everyone has something to offer.
“It’s not for one particular type of student. Anybody who has that interest of getting up, um, and arguing in court, debating, learning criminal procedures,” Stowers said.
The members, all of the different backgrounds, use this diversity to make themselves stronger as a club and to welcome everyone.
“You feel surrounded by friends instead of competitors,” Bixby said.
While being friendly, each member maintains a level of competitiveness to sharpen their skills.
“Everyone has like a really strong personality, and you can’t be afraid to hold your opinions back. You need to be very opinionated. You have to be, not necessarily outgoing, but you have to be willing to speak up,” Bates said.
However, members do not need to be outgoing, and students, who participate, tend to be the opposite.
“Honestly, the shy kids [thrive] because it’s a really welcoming and nice environment and you can just see them thriving and wanting to be leaders they just didn’t know how. So, like, when you put them in that environment, it’s really good,” Bixby said.
The mock trial team will go on to compete in January against other participating schools. If interested, it can be found in room 407.