Why I serve as an attorney advisor for Mock Trial: The Real World vs. the Mock Trial World
In the real world, I am dealing with people that are in trouble with the law, battling for custody of their children, unable to pay their child support, etc. While non-lawyers think that we can waltz into a courtroom, like Perry Mason, and solve our clients' problems in the span of one hour, most lawyers know that these cases can go on for months and can be exhausting. I love the practice of law and have no regrets about becoming a lawyer. However, there are days where being a lawyer in the real world is simply not fun.
Being a lawyer in the Mock Trial World is fun! You get to teach high school kids to do all the things that you often wish you could do in a real trial, such as doing cross examinations on your feet or making flawless opening and closing arguments. The most satisfying thing is to watch them master a technique during the competition that you have been teaching them for months, such as successfully objecting to hearsay or character evidence.
Advising a Mock Trial team brings out the lawyer, teacher and actor in me. The reality of our world is that we don't always get to prepare for trial as much as we would like. In the Mock Trial world, you have months to prepare your students, with a given set of facts. On competition day, you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you are like me, you are taking vigorous notes or sitting on the edge of your seat. One attorney advisor that I know can't even watch his team. He sits outside. Sometimes they stumble and sometimes they just nail it. In either case, you will leave that day very proud of their hard work and the role that you played in it.
I became an Attorney Advisor seven years ago when my oldest child helped start the Mock Trial team at her school in Durham. I have continued to coach all three of my children through Mock Trial. I love watching all of my Mock Trial students become better public speakers, learn to think quickly on their feet, and come to truly understand trial by jury. My students often tell me what a difference I made in their life. While being an Attorney Advisor can take a lot of your time, the return on this investment into your local high school community is worth every minute.
For more information on how you can get involved, contact Program Coordinator Sue Johnson at SueHeathJohnson@gmail.com. We would love for you to join us!