Contact: Kristen Yasukawa, ACOE Communications, 510-670-7754
Evan Goldberg, ACOE Mock Trial Manager, 510-670-4233
Who: Twelve high school mock trial teams
What: 27th Annual Philip A. Harley Memorial Mock Trial Competition
When: Semi-Finals: Tuesday, February 26 Finals: Thursday, February 28
Where: Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, 1225 Fallon Street, Oakland
For more information: Evan Goldberg, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-670-4233
Alameda County high school teams will continue to compete next week at the 27th Annual Philip A. Harley Memorial Mock Trial Competition hosted by the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) in Oakland. The mock trial program connects students with local attorneys and judges for the opportunity to learn about the judicial system and develop career-ready skills for any profession.
“[Mock trial] is a very fulfilling experience that forces me to step outside of my comfort zone and think on my feet,” said Jeremy Hollis, senior at Piedmont High School and four-year mock trial participant. “Being scored and judged by actual attorneys is so valuable. Their comments and guidance helped me grow from clerk to lead defense.”
The volunteer attorneys and teachers coach students in trial preparation, courtroom protocol and courtroom procedure. The student teams study a hypothetical case, conduct legal research and portray imitation criminal trials to learn and practice the roles of attorneys, witnesses and other courtroom positions. In conjunction with the trial competitions, individual students may submit a news article or a courtroom sketch documenting the mock trial for the journalism and court artist competitions.
Steve R. Sherman, volunteer attorney for the Amador Valley High School mock trial team, stated, “I teach students how to formulate an argument in an organized way. But equally important, I help them improve their delivery and develop their own style. I feel I’m preparing them for whatever career path they choose.” Sherman added that his graduated students often come back to tell him how their mock trial skills have helped them with public speaking and interviews.
“As the new Common Core State Standards emphasize college and career readiness and higher education opportunities become more competitive, extra-curricular activities like mock trial, that grow students into critical thinkers and conscientious citizens, are becoming an important part of the curriculum,” said Karen Monroe, Alameda County Associate Superintendent of Education. “We appreciate the contributions of the volunteer lawyers and judges who dedicate their time and expertise to the success of our students.”
The semi-final competition is scheduled for Tuesday, February 26 and the final competition is scheduled for Thursday, February 28. The winning team will represent Alameda County at the state competition on March 22-24 in Riverside, Calif.
The full competition schedule and locations:
Competition Rounds: February 7, 14, 19 and 21, Alameda County Administration Building, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland
Semi-Finals: February 26, Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, 1225 Fallon Street, Oakland
Finals: February 28, Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, 1225 Fallon Street, Oakland
Awards Banquet: March 12, Moreau Catholic High School, 27170 Mission Boulevard, Hayward
State Competition: March 22-24 (tentative), Riverside, California
National Competition: May 9-11, Indianapolis, Indiana
The participating high school teams:
Amador Valley High School (Pleasanton USD) – Winner of 2012 county mock trial competition
American High School (Fremont USD)
Bishop O’Dowd High School (Oakland, private)
COIL Charter School (Fremont USD)
East Bay Arts High School (Hayward USD)
Granada High School (Livermore Valley Joint USD)
KIPP King Collegiate High School (San Lorenzo, public)
Moreau Catholic High School (Hayward, private)
Oakland Tech High School (Oakland USD)
Piedmont High School (Piedmont USD)
San Lorenzo High School (San Lorenzo USD)
Skyline High School (Oakland USD)
For more information about the Alameda County competition, contact Evan Goldberg at 510-670-4233.
The Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) serves as liaison between the California Department of Education and the 18 Alameda County public school districts that serve more than 200,000 students and 10,000 teachers. ACOE provides fiscal oversight of the district budgets representing more than $1.78 billion and operates more than 300 programs and services for Alameda County students, parents and educators. ACOE provides, promotes and supports leadership and service to ensure the success of every child, in every school, every day. For more information, visit www.acoe.org.
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