Legally Bond

At law club, students bond over mutual passion for law, prepare for careers, participate in newly formed mock trial process

students intently watch a video regarding false confessions. The E-Board prepares presentations with videos relevant to the topic of meetings.

Students laugh and chat as they wait for law club to begin on a Thursday afternoon. As the students settle down, law club President Sam Feldman ’19 begins a presentation on false confessions.

This meeting is an example of what law club sponsor Mr. Moran calls an open meeting. The EBoard presents a legal issue and the club debates and discusses the topic for an hour. When it’s not an open meeting, the club has guest speakers such as lawyers, police officers and judges to talk about their careers and how they interact with the law.

Guest speakers allow students to ask questions and better their understanding on the topic. They also help students encounter severe situations such as rape or murder cases. Club members find it beneficial to have guest speakers because they provide an inside look at the legal field.

“The experience [Guest speakers] share with us helps influence the career paths and the minds of the kids in law club.” Anand Vadlamani ’20 said.

After the first half of the club, students are permitted to leave. However, many choose to stay and participate in the newly instituted mock trial process. This year’s focus of mock trials is criminal cases. Not only do students get to understand the formalities of the courtroom, but they also work on better understanding the details of the cases.

While Stevenson has a number of discussion-oriented clubs such as Debate Team, Ethics Bowl, and Model UN, there has never been a mock trial team. The inspiration to start a mock trial team came from Moran’s experience as the law team coach when he worked at York High school.

“There’s so many clubs and teams that kids can do at Stevenson that I was kind of shocked that we didn’t have a mock trial team,” Moran said. “I suggested the idea to our club kids last year, and they were really enthusiastic about trying it this year.”

Mock trials are court trials that students must recreate. The season runs from December to February and teams are assessed on their ability to present the case and witnesses.

While mock trials help students who wish to pursue a career in law, club members believe they get a lot more out of the experience. Those wishing to improve their public speaking skills and become more informed and open-minded citizens all have something to learn from mock trials.

“It’s so rewarding when you’re debating something and all of a sudden your opinion changes,” said Lauren Malenfant ’20. “There’s a great deal of satisfaction when something finally clicks.”