Students receive feedback from judges following their oral argument in mock congressional hearing during a Project Citizen presentation.
Volunteer judge gives feedback on a Project Citizen portfolio.
Mock Trial finalist team prepares to argue before Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Aug. 18, 2010 – Preparations are under way for two State Bar Law-related Education programs. Hundreds of attorney volunteers are needed for the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution mock congressional hearings and the Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Program
Pick a date. You be the judge. The We the People program needs volunteers on Friday, Jan. 7, in Madison. The Mock Trial regional competition needs volunteers on Saturday, Feb. 12, at statewide locations and on Sunday, March 13, in Madison.
We the People
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is a national program directed by the Center for Civic Education and funded by the U.S. Department of Education by act of Congress. Another State Bar-sponsored We the People program is Project Citizen, which is designed for students in upper elementary, middle school, and high school civics education. Project Citizen, which actively engages students in learning how to monitor and influence public policy, is presented in the spring. Visit We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution for more information about the program or volunteer online.
The Mock Trial Program teaches high school students about the law and the legal system while they participate in a simulated trial. Each school year, hundreds of high school students participate in the State Bar’s Mock Trial program. Acting as lawyers and witnesses on both sides of a fictional case, students compete against each other in regional competitions throughout the state in February. The winners of the semi-finals then compete before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in March. Teams are scored on their knowledge of the rules of evidence, the quality of their direct and cross examinations, and opening and closing statements.
This year’s case was written by Elder Law Section members Jennifer O’Neill, Hudson; Gwen Kuchevar, River Falls; Carol Wessels, Wawautosa; Peter Grosskopf, Eau Claire; and Jane Lokken, Eau Claire; with assistance from Patricia Furlong, William Mitchell College of Law, and Kaitlin Richardson and Alan O’Neill, non-attorney volunteers.
State Bar members interested in coaching a Mock Trial team or in judging at regional or semifinal tournaments can volunteer online. Students begin working with coaches as early as October.
Perhaps you haven’t the time to volunteer but would like to show your support for one of these programs. Members and law firms can make tax-deductible contributions through the Wisconsin Law Foundation. Questions about Law Foundation contributions can be directed to Wisconsin Law Foundation State Bar liaison org lemerson wisbar Laura Emerson at (608) 250-6015 or (800) 444-9404, ext. 6015. For information about Wisconsin Law Foundation contribution options.
For more information about these programs, contact State Bar Public Education Coordinator org mvarvil-weld wisbar Marsha Varvil-Weld at (608) 250-6191 or (800) 444-9404, ext. 6191.
About We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
About Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Program
About Project Citizen