In their own words . . .
In my previous posts, I have highlighted the benefits of mock trial team participation, extolling the communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills that the program encourages. But you don't have to take my word for it! Listen to the words of several teachers and students who have written about the growth they have seen and experienced as a result of the mock trial program:
Amy Marschall, long-time mock trial advisor at Raleigh Charter School, explains the impacts of the program: "I feel so strongly that the program offers such a terrific opportunity for students to develop their communication skills, no matter what their future plans in life are. I strive to accommodate all who want to participate, because I feel strongly that if I limited access, those who stand to gain the most from the extra reading and writing‚ the reading and writing for an authentic purpose which is so beneficial to students‚ would not make the team, unless I were to be quite perverse and choose the weakest applicants! I saw many young students this year finding a place in our school and a voice to express themselves [because of the mock trial program]."
"Through mock trial I have learned to stand up for my convictions, to think on a moment's notice, and to work with my team for a common goal. In addition, I have learned what hard work it is to be a lawyer. Over these past four years, the mock trial experience has taught me a little about litigation and a lot about myself." Co-captain, Page High School
"My experience with the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Mock Trial competition gave me a substantial of growth in not only my public speaking and confidence, but also in my ability to think on my feet. This opportunity first taught me to speak loud and clear in front of an audience with intent and purpose. . . . Although we did not win either of our two cases, the experience was rewarding enough. For me this was more than a role play competition, for me this was an episode of self-discovery. I'm grateful that I was able to participate. I can do this!" Team captain, Garner Road Community Center (brand-new team)
"I have grown astronomically as a direct result of the four years on my school's mock trial team. I've realized that there is always another side to every story; each case has required me to think on a much deeper level than what I was previously accustomed to. I can only imagine just how invaluable this skill will prove to be once I'm finally able to become a practicing attorney.
"Not only were my leadership abilities sharpened, but my overall people skills are much more developed. Most importantly, my time on the mock trial team has given me self-confidence. I joined the team in 2009 very insecure and grossly shy. After winning a total of five best attorney awards, I am more confident by the day that law is the field I am destined to enter. Mock trial has illuminated my path and has offered me the unique opportunity to join the world I had once only dreamed about being a part of, while at the same time molding me into a much better person." Team captain, Village Christian Academy
Thank you to all of the teacher-coaches and attorney advisors who are helping to "create tomorrow's leaders" through your investment in the NCAJ High School Mock Trial Program. You are truly making a difference!