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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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Turning the Gavel

The Triumphs and Tactics of South Mock Trial Team
Riley Shankman

“Order in the court!” — a phrase commonly heard in TV shows and movies, but never in Mock Trial.

 Mock Trial is a team made for students who love to speak, act, and embrace their opinions, Junior Sarina Harjani, Mock Trial team member, said. Law is the club’s primary focus while providing competition, acting, public speaking, teamwork, and community, Harjani said.

 Mock Trial reenacts court cases, Gwen Quigley, English Teacher, and team sponsor said.

“I would advertise Mock Trial as an academic team that is competitive, a fantastic way to learn more about the legal system, gain better public speaking skills,” Quigley said. “[Students] also gain really strong rhetoric skills because law really is just rhetoric.”

 Mock Trial members spend meetings practicing for competitions, Quigley said, which include a four-person attorney bench and the two witnesses. Only a limited number of members are allowed to compete, and when not arguing cases against a team from another school, South Mock trial members compete against each other to earn a spot in a trial, Quigley said. Spots are given based on performance and seniority, Quigley stated. 

“Since freshman year, I’ve always been an attorney because that’s what interests me the most, and in that position, I get to reenact being an actual lawyer,” Harjani said. “It’s a really fun experience because I get to see what real-life lawyers do, but I get to do it in a really fun, competitive way.”

When the team competes, they are recreating a civil or criminal case previously heard in the Illinois court system, Quigley said. During their case, Mock Trial members gain insight into what it takes to be a lawyer, Harjani said. 

“Any high school student who thinks that they want to go into law someday, who thinks that there’s any chance that they might wanna practice law, should absolutely do Mock Trial in high school,” Quigley said. “There’s really no other opportunity in high school to get this kind of hands-on trial practice.” 


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