Law students encourage kids to excel in school through mock trial performance

Members of the Elon Law chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) presented a mock trial before a group of the region's elementary school children on November 21 to teach them about trial advocacy and the range of career and service opportunities created by excelling in school.

Kim Gatling, front row, second from left, an attorney with Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP and the Legislative Liaison for the Greensboro Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., with Elon Law students, from left, Pamela Boeka, William Fennel, Andrea Davis, Karima Grady, Ashley Smith, Gwendolyn Lewis, and Hasina Lewis.

Elon Law students Pamela Boeka, William Fennel, Karima Grady, Gwendolyn Lewis, Hasina Lewis, and Ashley Smith acted out the trial of Big Bad Wolf v. Curly Pig in the law school’s Robert E. Long courtroom for the children, with law student Andrea Davis serving as judge for the performance.

The Greensboro chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. sponsored the trial. Jack and Jill is an organization of predominately African-American mothers who support the development of youth, ages 2-19, through chapter programming, community service, legislative advocacy, and philanthropic giving.

Kim Gatling, an attorney in the intellectual property section of Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP and the Legislative Liaison for the Greensboro Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, requested BLSA’s participation in the mock trial, which was presented before a group of the region’s first, second, and third grade students.

Law students played the roles of plaintiff, defendant, attorneys, judge, and witnesses, while the children acted as jurors. After the mock trial, the children were given the opportunity to describe what they learned about trial advocacy and to ask the law students questions about their interests in the law and their preparation in grade school and high school enabling them to succeed in law school. BLSA members encouraged the children to stay in school and to read often and study hard in order to reach their goals.

Click here for information about Jack and Jill of America, Inc. – Greensboro Chapter.

Click here to read about BLSA’s recent support of the 2010 debate tournament of the National Association of African-American Honors Programs.

By Ashley Smith, L12