In 2013, the city of Indianapolis will host an event that brings the best and brightest of our nation’s high schoolers to the Circle City. The National High School Mock Trial Championship, a civic program that familiarizes students with the legal process while honing their critical thinking, written and oral advocacy, and research skills, is being held in Indianapolis May 9 – 11, 2013.
Volunteers are needed to serve as judges in the mock trial competition and to help organize the competition sessions and accompanying social events. The 2013 host committee, led by Indianapolis attorney Ann Marie Waldron, is working to recruit approximately 400 Indiana judges and attorney volunteers. In addition to serving as judges for the student competition, volunteers are needed to assist with development and fundraising, publicity, and to coordinate logistics of the mock trial sessions and events.
“The kids leave the program having learned civics, rules of evidence, public speaking, drama, debate, and a myriad of other things,” Waldron said. “By volunteering to judge or work with the program in other ways, the attorneys have a direct impact on the education of these kids. It is rare to find a program where you can have such a direct impact.”
Students are given the opportunity to play the role of attorneys and witnesses in a fictitious case that involves quirky characters and interesting factual scenarios, Waldron said. Many students become involved in mock trial teams at their high school because they see it as something fun to do. Local lawyers, teachers, and others who work with high school teams sneak in the educational component once the students have engaged.
The benefit of the program extends beyond the participants, she added. Introducing some of the most high-achieving students in the country to Indiana and the opportunities it offers may be economically beneficial to the state’s future growth.
The 2011 national competition, held in Phoenix, Ariz., included teams from 48 states and territories, South Korea, and Australia. Indiana’s representative team from South Bend’s John Adams High School won the 2011 national championship. Indiana teams have consistently been represented in the competition’s top 10, making the state a recognized leader in the national program. The 2012 competition will be held in Albuquerque, N.M.
To become involved or to learn more, contact Waldron at [email protected] or 317-587-7820.•