Future Lawyers Take the Stage

Jason Starr, Staff Writer

The mock trial team, Mrs. Olecki-Leeper, and Mrs. Ferguson (the lawyer coach) have been very busy preparing for two trials in late January and February. They have spent many days after school writing openings, closings, and direct and cross examinations. This year’s case is a fictional whistleblower case created by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. A whistleblower is a person who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity. Hannah Nemanic stated why she joined the team. “I really enjoyed mock trial in law class last year. I also am considering becoming a lawyer in the future and thought this would be a good experience. My favorite part was building the case. I enjoyed the discussions we had to determine what direction we wanted to take the case. ” She even went on to talk about the amount of time the team put in. “We started at the end of October and we go through the end of February. We had practice 3 times a week for two hours…” “ I think I would do it over again, I think my experience next year would be even better, because I would know what to expect.” Mrs. Olecki-Leeper says that she hopes her students enjoyed the process and an experiential learning opportunity unlike any other. She thoroughly enjoyed working with this particular group of students. “ I am thrilled to be the lawyer coach for this year’s mock trial team. This is my fourth year coaching, and, as always, it is a pleasure working with Mrs. Leeper, who is probably the only other person I know that finds the law as interesting as I do. After three consecutive years of competing (2009-2011), we decided to take a break: the commitment is overwhelming at times. But, when Mrs. Leeper told me about this year’s group of students, I didn’t hesitate, and boy, am I glad I didn’t! Despite crazy schedules, each and everyone, without complaints or excuses, has worked tirelessly to attain a level of proficiency that will allow them to compete against any team, at any level. I truly believe that this group has the talent and work ethic to succeed at anything they do” stated Mrs. Ferguson.