In February, Jefferson County high school students participated in a four-day regional mock trial tournament at the Jefferson County Combined Courthouse. Children’s Law Center staff attorneys Andrew Fitzgerald and Jason Carrithers were among the hundreds of attorneys, judges, teachers, and other community leaders who volunteered their time across the state to teach students.
Teams of Jefferson County students from grades 9–12 participated in the first round of the state-wide tournament, learning about the judicial system and the trial process through a mock trial. The mock trial program gives students an opportunity to expand their speaking, writing, reading, and analytical skills while learning about the judicial system. They learned the same skills that are taught and practiced by students in law school.
The Jefferson County Regional Mock Trial Tournament was coordinated by the First Judicial District Bar Association Mock Trial Co-Chairs Judge KJ Moore and Amanda Cruser of Boog & Cruser, P.C.
“These kids performed as well as seasoned attorneys. They invested enormous amounts of time preparing for the competition, and treated the case as if they were trying it in front of a real judge, for a real client.” Judge KJ Moore.
“Attorneys and judges who volunteer to judge the competition are frequently providing feedback that many of the student attorneys are performing as well as attorneys in the real world.” Amanda Cruser, Boog & Cruser, P.C.
Students began preparing for the tournament in September. They had to learn to try both sides of a civil case focused on cyber stalking in real courtrooms, with established attorneys and judges scoring them. “The effort and professionalism of the mock trial teams is admirable. They truly dedicated their hearts and minds to this competition and it shows. The coaches, mentors, judges and families are all great supports. It is a wonderful program for the kids.” Jason Carrithers, Esq., Director of the University of Denver Child Advocacy Practicum.
Congratulations to Team A from Lakewood High School who won the Jefferson County Regional Competition and went on to compete at the state competition in March.
Jason Carrithersis the Director of the University of Denver Child Advocacy Practicum, a year-long course for 2nd and 3rd year students at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Carrithers will return to the Jefferson County Combined Courthouse on April 14-15 for the University of Denver Child Advocacy Practicum mock trials.