The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

Court in the Classroom


“Please state your name for the jury.” Emma Lippert says as she begins her questioning.

11th and 12th grade law students from Greater Latrobe High School got to experience what a real-life court case is like. A mock trial was used to replicate what an actual court case would feel like. 

During the first semester of the year, students taking Law I got to analyze the American justice system and gained knowledge about legal terminology and how disputes get settled. Throughout the semester, law I students evaluate different court cases to obtain legal knowledge in preparation for a mock trial at the end of the semester. This mock trial is used in place of a final exam. Those who participated in the class were evaluated and graded based on their appearance, attendance, seriousness, and timeliness. 

Junior, Emma Lippert is an aspiring law school student. She plans on attending Allegany College to study law after graduating high school. Emma scheduled this school year to take Law I and Law II in hopes of gaining a better understanding of law and legal terminology.

“I like watching a lot of mystery shows and I’ll always try to predict who is guilty,” Emma said when asked why she wants to be a lawyer. “One day I want to be in a courtroom and be able to defend the people who have committed or are thought to have committed crimes.”

Law I students first completed a Google form to request which position they would prefer to take on in the mock trial. 

Emma said, “I chose to be a lawyer because I felt that I would play a significant role in the trial with that particular position. I also would like to pursue being a lawyer, so I thought this would give me experience for my future.” 

These eager scholars found out which position they would hold on the last day of school before Christmas break. They then had all of Christmas break to review the information that they had about the case. 

Emma said, “We were given a packet that included everything we needed to know about the case we would be putting on trial. I had to spend some time over Christmas break reading through it.” 

After they returned from break, they had the final two weeks of the semester to prepare for the mock trial which took place during the last day of the class. In preparation for the trial, Emma and her group worked together very hard by reading over the case, finding the most important in the testimonies, and rehearsing their lines.

The class was divided into three groups: the defendants, prosecutors, and the jury. These groups worked together to bring this court case to life. 

Emma said, “We had to use our communication and teamwork skills to complete all of the different tasks.”

Each student was graded by a different criteria based on their position in the mock trial. Since Emma was a lawyer, she was first graded on her appearance. Students were expected to look and dress professionally as if they were in a real courtroom. 

Emma said, “I wore a plaid skirt, a black sweater, and Converse. Everyone else wore similar outfits that were pretty much business casual.”

They were also graded on how they presented themselves in the courtroom. They were all expected to sound professional while speaking and also keep eye contact with the judge and jury while doing so.

Emma said, “This class definitely furthered my interest in law and the legal system. It helped me understand how an actual courtroom is set up and the order that the events occur in.”

Deciding who would win the case was a big deal. The jury left the room and went into the hallway. They deliberated and used their notes to each give their opinions, and unanimously decided on an outcome. One person then reported this outcome to the judge. It was Emma’s group that ultimately won the case.

Emma reflects on this experience by saying, “I really enjoyed this whole experience because the only comparison I had to court cases was what I have seen in movies and I know now that those aren’t completely accurate. It was really cool to feel what it would be like to be in an actual courtroom and act out a real case.”

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About the Contributors
Olivia Carlquist
Olivia Carlquist, Staff Writer
Olivia Carlquist is thrilled to be a writer on the high post this year! Olivia is currently in her junior year at Greater Latrobe High School, and her first year on The High Post. Olivia is a dancer at Laurel Valley Academy of Dance, specializing in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, acro, and modern. She also enjoys helping teach preschool-age dance classes at her studio. Olivia is also a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the French National Honor Society, Interact Club, and Key Club. She is also an involved member of the Environmental Club, where she helps recycle materials from the school every week. When she is not at school or dance, you can find her spending time with her dog Winnie. Winnie is a lab-pitbull mix that she got during the pandemic. Olivia enjoys focusing on her academics and is a distinguished honor student. She plans on pursuing a career in child psychiatry in the future. Olivia is so excited to be a member of the High Post this year and to be able to write meaningful stories that convey what is going on at Greater Latrobe. She cannot wait to begin covering this year’s school events.
Corey McHenry
Corey McHenry, Staff Writer
Corey McHenry is a junior at Greater Latrobe Senior High School. At school, she is involved in the Key Club, Interact Club, and Environmental Club. She is also in Mu Alpha Feta and the Spanish National Honor Society. Outside of school, she was a competitive gymnast for ten years where she trained at Elegance Elite and reached level eight. One of her biggest gymnastics accomplishments is becoming a  state bar champion. A few of her other interests include skiing, shopping, and hanging out with her friends and family. She is also an employee at the Meadows in Latrobe where she loves to serve and interact with customers. A few fun facts about her are that her favorite season is fall, she loves traveling to different places, and her favorite color is pink. Corey is so excited to have the opportunity to take journalism to learn and grow more as a writer and photographer.

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