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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Mock Trial closes out on 20 years of success

SUN. | 05-01-22 | NEWS

     The Rose Mock Trial team is growing and competitive as they sent three teams to Regionals, resulting in one team moving on to the state competition and placing second overall on March 18 and 19. 

     Rose has made it to States nearly every year for the past 20 years, with 2011 being the exception. Regionals and States were held virtually over Zoom this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each team from their respective schools got together in a room and Zoomed in. Rose teams joined in from government teacher Liza Knight and history teacher Diane Padilla’s rooms. 

     Rose sophomore Alex Cooper has been a Mock Trial team member for two years but has attended Mock

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Trial events for about ten years, as he has siblings who have been Mock Trial members. He is attending a program called “Top Mock” this summer at Furman University. He acts as an attorney for his team, the Green Team, which made it to the final round at States. 

     “After Regionals we fixed whatever didn't go well and implemented what we learned from other teams to prepare for States,” Cooper said. “At States there were two initial rounds, and after beating those teams we moved onto the final round.”

     Mock Trial is led by Knight, who has reached her 20th year of coaching the Mock Trial team this year. She’s in charge of all 24 members. She coordinates the program by recruiting team members, running tryouts, helping students prepare during the year, and communicating with the people in charge of the competition fees, registration and other logistics. Rose teams have an advantage this year, as they have a real attorney as one of their coaches: Hailey Bunce. 

     "There are a good bit of questions that I can answer, but there are some questions that someone who’s been to law school needs to answer," Knight said. "She’s amazing — the best possible attorney coach you could get."

     Mock Trial members start preparing in September, practicing once a week for two hours. Then in December, they pick up to two practices a week for two hours each. Regionals is the first weekend of February and practices become more frequent around that time. 

     “Mock Trial teaches us public speaking and research skills as well as general knowledge of the law,” Cooper said. “My public speaking skills have definitely improved because of Mock Trial.” 

     Agreeing with Cooper, Knight also believes that students learn valuable skills from Mock Trial.

     “[They learn] critical thinking skills as well as how to work on a team, which is essential for them to be successful,” Knight said. 

     This team works together for months before competing, and just like a sports team, they work through challenges and build a connection. 

     “Our team definitely has a bond and I would consider them my friends, for sure,” Cooper said. 

     Knight encourages students who are curious about Mock Trial to attend interest meetings and see if practices would work with their schedule, as it is a big time commitment. 

     “Mock Trial isn’t just for people thinking about law school; a lot of my Mock Trial people don’t end up being attorneys,” Knight said. “Being a part of this team works on critical thinking skills which you’ll need in whatever career you choose in the future.”

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