Mock trial team prepares for state competition


Jessica Dodge ’19 practices in the courtroom for the upcoming state competition. Photo courtesy of Dodge.

Just-Us Welch '20, Photo Editor

The South Mock Trial is preparing for the Michigan State Level competition in Lansing on March 23rd.

This year will be the schools 10th year competing in the Mock Trial competition and second time any South team has been inviting to advanced onto the state competition, according to history teacher and Mock Trial adviser Peter Palen.

“As a history teacher, I’ve always loved learning about the law”, Palen said.

This year’s case is based on a topic that can be a reality for some high schools around the country and Jessica Dodge ‘19 values the importance of having mock trial cases that are relevant so students can be even more passionate about the case.

“I think that student drug use is especially a problem because students just want to compete and be the best they can be,” Dodge said.

South sent two teams this year to their first competition on March 2nd but only one team advanced consisting of team members George Burke ‘19, Atticus Henry ‘21, Elizabeth Klepp ‘22, Jessica Dodge ‘19, Christina Thomas ‘21, Bashar Abouljoud ‘20,

Samantha Savage ‘19, Lee Jackson ‘19, and Navya Chamiraju ‘20.

There are many benefits to joining this club that many wouldn’t necessarily know about mock trial from an outsider’s perspective.

“I think it’s really important to learn how to do public speaking and mock trial is a fantastic way to gather those skills because you speak in front of an audience and learn how to think on your feet”, Savage said.

Dodge believes mock lawyers aren’t the only role that are vital to the club success and there is something for every member to pick as their niche.

“Lawyers prepare questions, opening and closing statements and witnesses play roles almost like theater where you play a part and answer questions”, Dodge said.

Now, the team is taking steps to perfect their skills so the upcoming competition will be a success this Saturday by having more frequent practices and gaining help from local law clinics.

“We’re working really hard, we work 2-3 days after school for about an hour and a half and we are also going to the Macomb County Court to practice under a real judge for feedback,” Dodge said.

Savage is proud her team for improving their skills from last year and being able to perform successfully at this year’s competition.

“I was really proud of my team for working so hard at the competition even though it was a little different from how it was last year,” Savage said.