The Avenue

Mock Trial Team Travels to First Boot Camp

Jenny Castañeda, Senior Writer

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The mock trial team went to Loyola University Chicago School of Law for a boot camp event that was held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on January 20th. The event’s purpose was to explain the rules and give a better understanding of mock trials with presentations and workshops with experienced attorneys.

The day started off with the team members meeting up at the high school on time as they went by bus to the university. All members attending the boot camp were given a student handout which explained the case in depth, thus allowing the students to be prepared and aware. The case was about damage to physical property and the defendant was accused of doing so, although there wasn’t any actual evidence. However, the four witnesses served as evidence and their statements were used to determine the outcome of the case.

When the members arrived at the building, breakfast was served which was a great way to get settled and interact with others. Along with the DePaul mock trial team attending the event, the school was responsible for hosting the luncheon as a sign of appreciation to the founders of the Howlett Cup. According to one of the coaches, Mrs. Rodriguez, “This year we were hosting the luncheon, making our contribution as a way of saying that is an important event. This is the way we chose to do it, by sponsoring the luncheon and it was nice to be able to show our support for the organization because it is all volunteer represented, no one gets paid to do this, in honor of Judge Howlett who passed away.”

New and old members involved in Mock Trial went over opening and closing statements along with direct and cross examinations. The process required certain skill and thought that was put into those workshops. PowerPoint presentations along with brief lectures hosted by Mark Javier were also included at the event. Working with attorneys enlightened students with law and a sense of communicative skill that go into mock trial. Thoughts of mock trial being like acting plays a small part of many other aspects that goes into the tournaments. It is true that the performance must be convincing to the jury, however the tournaments aren’t scripted and skills like observing and analyzing have a bigger role within the given case.

For most of the members, it was their first time attending the boot camp and no one knew what to expect. The DePaul mock trial members were all divided into other groups which gave all of the members an opportunity to understand and get along with their potential opponents. As Mrs. Rodriguez has stated, “Because of boot camp, it demonstrated connection and facilitated the social aspect of it.” Compared to last year, as Mrs. Rodriguez states, “More schools have been invited and accepted which resulted with more associates such as attorneys and volunteers that helped plan the event as a whole.” The members of the DePaul mock trial team all learned new techniques and gained a better understanding of how mock trial is done.

At the end, a mini-mock trial case was performed by the students who volunteered. At first, the students seemed reluctant to participate but eventually all the volunteers were gathered including one of the school’s own member, Benjamin Hutchinson, who crossed examined one of the witnesses. As Mrs. Rodriguez mentions, “Different schools stepped up (for the mini-mock trial) and with a little bit of time to practice so much progress was made.” The mini-mock trial represented the start of the season as students from different schools showed also their interest, talent and determination during this event.

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Mock Trial Team Travels to First Boot Camp