By Whittal & Co.
Competitive Mock Trials Tournament
On April 9, 2018, the UCC Mock Trial Team will be heading to Windsor to participate in the OBA/OJEN Competitive Mock Trials Tournament in Windsor.
The Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) is a non-profit organization that connects justice sector professionals and educators to provide exciting justice education opportunities for young people in Ontario. The Mock Trials Tournament is just one way that the OJEN provides students with exposure to the justice system in a positive, experiential way. It is also a wonderful opportunity for students to hone their personal advocacy skills – something they can apply to any area of their lives no matter what career field they choose to pursue.
Meet the Coaches
This year the OJEN connected Whittal + Co.’s newest lawyer, Katherine Denkers, and paralegal, Dane Appleton, with UCC teacher Mark Broadbent; all three are UCC alumni. The three “coaches” have been meeting with the student team once a week for the past couple months in preparation for the upcoming tournament. Katherine competed in a number of legal competitions and was responsible for organizing other teams for over 30 legal tournaments during her time at law school. Dane competed in a number of mock trial tournaments during his paralegal training and Mark has taught the grade 11 and grade 12 law courses at UCC for the past 5 years.
Meet the Team
The UCC Mock Trial Team consists of 7 Grade 11 and 12 students: Sawyer King, Earl Castillo, Cole Murray, Matthew Bacic, Conner Quinton, Quinn Teague-Colfer and Gabby Glasier. It was Cole Murray who originally had the desire to compete in the competition and took the initiative to put the team together.
“They are an absolutely stellar group of students!” says Dane, “It has been a lot of fun working with them. They have been eager to learn from the start and have really put in a lot of effort. No matter what the results may be on April 9, working with the team has been a wonderfully rewarding experience.”
Competing in a mock trial not only educates students in how the justice system operates, it builds confidence, hones advocacy and public speaking skills, and it challenges students to dissect logic problems. As observed by team member Matthew Bacic, “Law teaches you to think in a whole new way.”
Encouragement to Do More
Both Dane and Katherine hope that more students at UCC will take advantage of this opportunity next year. “It would be wonderful if we could get more schools involved next year,” says Katherine, “If we can get even just one more team in Chatham-Kent, we could have our own Mock Trial Tournament right here in the Municipality. I would invite any students or justice and education sector professionals to contact Dane and I at firstname.lastname@example.org if they are interested in finding out more about coaching or forming a mock trial team.”
Dane and I and everyone at Whittal + Co. wish these students the best of luck!