About 85 high school students  from seven D.C. area schools presented arguments before nine federal judges in the Historical Society’s Ninth Mock Court Program on April 25, 2014 in the E. Barrett Prettyman federal Courthouse.

After practicing their arguments with volunteer lawyer mentors in the weeks preceding the program, the students impressed the judges with their ability to argue a case involving search and seizure issues. Each judge selected the student who was the most outstanding oral advocate, and all students received certificates of participation after which they relaxed and enjoyed a lunch of pizza and salad.

9th Annual Mock Court 2014

High School Students Practice Their Lawyering Skills

After Chief Judge Merrick Garland welcomed the students, they each presented arguments before one of the nine participating federal judges. In the weeks preceding the program, the students prepared and practiced their arguments, which centered on a hypothetical fact pattern raising Fourth Amendment search and seizure issues, with the help of 28 volunteer attorneys from nine area law firms.

At the program’s closing ceremony, the judges announced the most outstanding student advocates and presented each student with a certificate of participation. Students then relaxed and enjoyed a lunch of pizza, salad, and cold cuts in the Atrium of the William B. Bryant Annex.

Students selected by the judges as the most outstanding advocates:

Yasmine Branscomb
Nykkira Cain
Dajah Crowder
Sigrid Johannes
Aidan Lomotey

Shannon Mathews
Sadatu Pajibo
Kendall Schutzer
Kian Streater
Elena Vazquez

Judges Sri Srinivasan, James E. Boasberg, Christopher R. Cooper, John M. Facciola, Beryl A. Howell, Alan Kay, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Royce C. Lamberth, and Deborah A. Robinson, heard the students’ arguments. Lawyers from Goodwin Procter; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Law Offices of Carmen D. Hernandez; Sidley Austin; Steptoe & Johnson; Williams & Connolly; WilmerHale; Wiltshire & Grannis; and Zuckerman Spaeder mentored the students.

Program co-chairs were Christopher Wright and Paras N. Shah.

Many of the students participating in the Historical Society’s Mock Court Program with some of the judges who heard their arguments in court.