On March 4, 2022, 166 local high school students from five different DC high schools participated in the Society’s Seventeenth Annual Mock Court Program. This popular program provides juniors and seniors in high school with the opportunity to learn about constitution law issues in the school context, and then to prepare and present 5-minute arguments to judges of the federal court based upon two different fact patterns involving school disciplinary decisions that present first and fourth amendment issues. The students were mentored by 38 volunteer attorney mentors, who met with the students 4-5 times in advance of argument day. They helped the students understand the issues, explained how to craft an oral argument, and then worked with them to practice their presentations for the big day. Schools participating this year included School Without Walls, KippDC: College Prep, Washington Latin, Maret and Georgetown Day School.
Twelve judges (ten from the Court of Appeals and District Court, one from the Federal Circuit, and one from the D.C. Superior Court) heard the arguments from the students, who linked to individual virtual courtrooms. Chief Judge Srinivasan provided opening remarks to the students, noting that although their arguments were being presented virtually, the experience mirrors that of practicing lawyers appearing before the court over the past two years.