Denver Bar Association
December 2008
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Be a High School Mock Trial Volunteer!


Several Mock Trial participants show off their "Best Witness" and "Best Attorney" awards during the 2008 State Mock Trial Tournament.
We stopped busy young lawyer Dennis Kaw for a moment Nov. 1 at the Board of Governors meeting in Colorado Springs to tell us why he’s chosen to spend time volunteering for the Mock Trial program. The program is growing in popularity and still needs coaches in the Denver schools and around the state for this season. We have paraphrased his enthusiastic response.

The CBA Mock Trial Program has been the best program I’ve been involved with. Being a Coach is the best way to directly give back to the community and make a positive impact on how the public perceives attorneys. You can make a real impact on the lives of the students. The program is good for
2005 State Mock Trial Tournament Champions from St. Mary's Academy.
transactional and trial attorneys. You really get out of it what you put into it. The community is very strong and you are a central part of it. You get to know other attorneys and judges outside of work. There’s definitely a tangible benefit for attorneys, especially young attorneys. When you see the high school students in front of the judges, and the public perception from a step back, it influences your career. Coaching is not that difficult, especially is you find a couple other attorneys to coach a team with you. That’s what we did. It cut the work in thirds. But really, it’s not that difficult. Once you start teaching the case for the year’s competition,
Students from the 2008 George Washington High School team prepare for their case during the State Mock Trial Tournament.
you realize that the high school students learn trial practice and rules of evidence quicker than most attorneys and law students because it’s not a rigorous professional and academic demand on them. The best part is that you see kids get through personal barriers and watch them succeed. For example, we had one student who really kept to herself at her high school. She seemed more quiet and meek. But she made friends with the honors students and began taking classes with them. Her confidence increased and she ended up getting into a very good college. You’re committed to seeing them develop and grow.

 

2008 State Mock Trial Tournament Champions from George Washington High School. The school went on to take fifth in Nationals.

 

For more information on becoming a Mock Trial coach or volunteering to score or judge a mock trial round, contact Carolyn Gravit at cgravit@cobar.org, or (303) 824-5323.


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