GH School’s 5th Grade Mock Trial Club & Tournament Team

Glen Head’s School-Wide Enrichment Services (SWES) offers fifth-grade students the opportunity to participate in the Mock Trial Club, an extra-curricular afterschool club that explores all facets of the American Justice System and prepares students to compete in the Western-Suffolk BOCES Mock Trial Tournament. Each tournament team consists of seven students representing either the plaintiff or defendant. Team members assume the roles of attorney, witness, and bailiff and perform all aspects of a trial. This year, fifteen fifth graders worked with Mrs. Goldberg to develop and hone their trial skills and strategies. Team members learned how to: formulate questions for direct and cross-examination; make evidentiary objections; draft opening statements and closing arguments for the court; and apply complex legal standards to the facts of this year’s civil case, Celine Kovics v. The Oars Beachcomber.

On Friday, March 25, 2022, teams from across Long Island attended the Western-Suffolk BOCES Mock Trial Tournament. Students in grades 5 through 8 traveled to Suffolk County Community College to present their cases to members of the legal profession who act as “judges.” At the tournament, teams compete against students with whom they are unfamiliar and are meeting for the first time. Success requires commitment, teamwork, and effective communication. When presenting their case, students often must react quickly to unanticipated challenges and improvise responses to novel situations.

Glen Head’s 5th graders competed against teams of 7th and 8th grade students from neighboring districts. Presiding judges analyzed student presentations and awarded points for merit and performance. Glen Head’s 5th grade plaintiff and defense teams were victorious, outperforming their middle school opponents! Most notably, judges commended Glen Head students on their passion, acting skills, quick thinking, and mastery of the rules of evidence. We are delighted to congratulate these hard-working, young legal experts on their victories and are grateful to North Shore Schools for providing us with this extraordinary enrichment opportunity!
Article and Photos by: J. Goldberg