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Students Compete and Connect at City College’s Summer Mock Trial Program

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by Alexis Bossous College Now Ladders for Leaders Summer 2014 Intern Marymount Manhattan College, 2013

Differentiate yourself from the masses! Exhibit your talents! Let your voice be heard! CUNY College Now offers a vast variety of programs that provide students with the opportunity to get ahead and earn college credits while still in high school. One of College Now’s newest programs is the Summer Mock Trial Program  which was offered at The City College of New York (CCNY).

Students participated in a lecture-based course in the morning where they received 3 college credits. In Political Science 126: Introduction to the Legal Process, students studied the basic institutions, procedures, and theories of the administration of justice. They accomplished this by examining court proceedings, civil and criminal cases, and the operation of administrative and judicial tribunals. Students related what they learned during their lecture to groundbreaking cases, such as Gideon v. Wainwright and Miranda v. Arizona. In the afternoon students were engulfed in the invigorating world of the American legal process through a Mock Trial activity. Students were given the opportunity to walk in the shoes of prosecutors fighting for justice, witnesses questioned on the stand, and defense attorneys seeking the truth.  One student mentioned, “I’ve learned more about courts, [legal] systems, mock trial procedures, career alternatives and different paths. It’s all interesting and fun.” ~C.B.

CCClassColorSmallThis program allowed students the opportunity to showcase their competitiveness through the Mock Trial Tournament. During this tournament, students prepared both a civil case and a criminal case; this summer students utilized State v. Bowman for their criminal trial and Allen v. Neptune for their civil trial. Students were separated into 4 teams and used what they learn in the program to compete against each other at the completion of the course. This program gave students the chance to develop their ability to speak and perform in front of audiences.  Moreover, it allowed students to build lasting relationships with friends, mentors, guest speakers, judges, and the instructor. The students who participated in the program this summer expressed that they liked meeting such a diverse group of people and appreciated learning from the different perspectives they had to offer. The Mock Trial Program at CCNY challenged high school students and prepared them for every aspect of college.

When asked about their social experience in the program, a participant said,“Helped me get out of my shell, it made me realize that I have to be more outgoing [when in college].” ~S.H. When asked about the college preparation this program provided, one student replied, “It helped me understand that college is about independence, and I feel like it made me more responsible [for my own work]” ~E.M. Students also enjoyed the sense of independence and freedom they felt while taking this course on the beautiful City College campus.

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To find out more information about this program or any of the other programs that College Now offers, you can visit our website.