The Historical Society presented its 11th annual Mock Court Program at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on March 11. One hundred twenty-eight D.C. high school students from Maret, McKinley Tech, Woodson and School Without Walls delivered appellate-style oral arguments before 11 participating federal judges. "Outstanding" was the universal judgment.
This year's program was unique. In addition to having the most student participants ever, Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of the D.C. Public Schools, was on hand and went from courtroom to courtroom, listening to the students' arguments, impressed with what she heard.
Concluding in the Ceremonial Courtroom, each of the participating Judges - Srinivasan, Millett, Sullivan, Amy Jackson, Contreras, Ketanji Jackson, Cooper, Moss, Mehta, Robinson, and Harvey - applauded the students for their advocacy, presenting each with a certificate and identifying the most "outstanding" advocate in their courtroom. Mock Court Co-Directors Paras Shah and James Rocap thanked the 33 attorneys who mentored the students in the weeks prior to the event.
Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Merrick B. Garland, and Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court congratulated the student advocates for their hard work and encouraged them to consider careers in the law. After the closing ceremony, judges, mentors, teachers and students came together in the Courthouse Atrium to share a pizza lunch.