OHS Mock trial places second in state

OHS Mock trial places second in state

Fisher Giles, staff writer

Oxford High School Mock trial has been an organization for 5 years, and is a way for students to gain exposure to the world of law starting at a young age. Last year’s mock trial team placed second in state and this year’s team is hoping to take home the first place gavel.

Senior Fikir Beyene acknowledges the fact that many people aren’t aware of the program and sees the program as a way to prepare students for their future.

“Mock trial is kind of like a cross between debate and theater where we are not actually like trying a case,” Beyene said. “We’re pretending to, and we go through all the motions of getting dressed up and going to an actual courthouse. We’re graded on performance, but also like how well you can argue the case and how well you know the law.”

Mock trial is easy to get involved in, as you only need to show a passion for the law and an understanding of the commitment. Senior Claire Anne Boudreaux was a recruit her final year of high school and recently went through the recruitment process.

“You just come to practice if you think that you have an interest in it. There are a limited number of spots on the team as there’s three attorneys and three witnesses per side. In the past we had two teams, an A and B team, but this year there weren’t enough people that were interested so we didn’t have two teams,” Boudreaux said. “We see where your strengths and where your weaknesses are and if we have a spot on the team and you fit the mold then you are offered a spot. It’s an informal interview process just to see if you would be able to make the time commitment as the time commitment is very heavy.”

There are not many competitions but when you do compete it is very important. Beyene stresses that you must place in the top half to be able to go on to the next round.

“So we have two competitions, a regional and a state. Normally we have a regional in Oxford, but this year we had to go to Jackson. We compete against like 10-18 teams. The top half advanced to state where we go against all the best teams in this state. We either take up the prosecution or the defense and don’t know beforehand which side we
will be portraying,” Beyene said.

The mock trial team is heading to state this year after coming in second place last year. They are hoping to win it all this year, as they have been practicing for the competition since October.

“We have one competition in February and one in March. The February competition is the regional competition and if we qualify for state, we move on to state competition, which we did this year. So to prepare we just practice a lot. It’s directs and crosses with witnesses and attorneys and openings and closings from the attorneys and really just working with witnesses to get them into character and memorize their statements,” Boudreaux said. “It’s a lot of one-on-one work, but by the time we reach the competition, we typically do a full run-through, which lasts about three hours.”