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Volunteers needed for civics contest and law student competitions

November 24, 2014

Volunteers are needed to help judge students learning about Democracy and studying to be future lawyers.

The Indiana Bar Foundation is seeking volunteers to work the We The People state finals, a competition which tests high school and middle school students’ knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution.

In addition, the Marion County Bar Association needs volunteers to help with mock trial and moot court competitions between law students. The competitions are part of the Midwest Black Law Students Association Regional Conference which will be held in Indianapolis Feb. 18 through 22.

The conference needs volunteers to serve as judges for both the mock trial and moot court, but the immediate need is for volunteers to grade briefs, according to the MCBA. The graders will rate the briefs on mechanics including meeting the filing deadline and following grammar rules as well as substantive concerns like properly defining and addressing the issue, and applying the laws and facts in a persuasive manner.

Anyone interested in helping to grade briefs should contact MCBA President Elect Terrance Tharpe at terrancetharpe@icloud.com.  

For the 2014 We The People event, students from around the state will be competing in Indianapolis Dec. 14 through 16 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Grand Hall at Union Station in Indianapolis. Winning teams will have the opportunity to move to the national finals scheduled for April in Washington D.C.

Routinely, Hoosier students score in the top 10 teams in the country

“These teams are among the best in the country,” said Charles Dunlap, executive director of the Indiana Bar Foundation.

For the state finals, the foundation needs volunteers primarily to serve as judges, although there are some opportunities for volunteers to help in the scoring room and to direct participants around the facility during the competition.

The judges will ask the students questions related to the U.S. Constitution and then score their responses. Judges will rate the students in such areas as how well they demonstrate an understanding of the question; to what extent they support their positions with sound reasoning; and how well they apply their knowledge of constitutional history and principles to the question.

Individuals with backgrounds or strong interests in the law or U.S. history or civics would be qualified to be a judge for the competition, Dunlap said.

Rounds 1 and 2 for the high school teams will be held from 12:45 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and from 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 15. Judges volunteering for these opening rounds are asked to serve both days in order to provide consistency in scoring, Dunlap said.

Volunteers who have judged in previous We The People competitions are needed for the final high school round from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

Finally, judges are needed for the two middle school rounds which run from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Dec. 16.

The foundation will provide meals, lodging and free parking to all volunteers.

Anyone interested in volunteering can register here by completing the form.

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