Georgia High School Mock Trial Competition

Ninety-two teams from fifteen regions around the state participated in this year’s Georgia High School Mock Trial Competition. The high school teams worked their way through up to four rounds, most trials taking between two and a half and three hours to complete.

SM&P’s partner Melanie Prehodka supported the regional round on Feb 12 as a volunteer attorney evaluator. Having volunteered with the event for many years, she has become an evaluator the competition depends on. “This is one of my most enjoyable volunteer activities. Naturally, I am doing it again this year and have recruited some colleagues to do the same.”

The event is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division (YLD), State Bar of Georgia. The Mock Trial, according to the YLD members, helps students develop an understanding of our legal system through court case role-playing. Attorneys coach the students in formulating questions, critical thinking, and oral advocacy skills.

Inviting judges, attorneys, and other members of the legal community to participate in the mock trial helps bridge the gap between the simulated activity and reality and also gives the resource people a chance to share their knowledge and experience with young people.

The competition gives students practical knowledge about courts and trials, which can be invaluable should they ever be called as jurors or witnesses in a real trial or principals in a legal action. “Many young people interested in the legal profession haven’t had a chance to understand what is involved,” Melanie concluded. “We can give them a small but powerful sample of what a career in law could be like.”