The mock trial team at William Penn is lead by Francis Lusch, the criminal justice teacher. It is comprised of students who are split into two groups of six; one the prosecution, the other the defense to simulate a court case in the real world. The team helps students to just get a feel for the world of law and how it works but it builds public speaking skills, organization skills and it also helps the students make coherent arguments, all skills students need for the future.
“Mock trial team is now a statewide program where students are given either a criminal or civil case and compete against other schools legal teams to mock court 20 years,” Lusch said.
Lusch has been teaching in Colonial School District since 2001 and has been at Penn for 14 years. He teaches all students who major in legal studies at William Penn with Criminal Justice 1 & 2, Forensic and Genetics with a science teacher Jeffrey Bosco and Applied Legal Studies.
Students who are thinking of joining mock trial should possess certain interests and qualities. “The students need a sense of commitment, a willingness to speak publicly and they must also have academic eligibility,” Lusch said.
The mock trial team can also help students to just get a feel for the world of law and how it works but it builds public speaking skills, organization skills and it also helps the students make coherent arguments, all skills students need for the future.
The mock trial has one competition they prepare for. This competition is in February over at the courthouse on 6th and King Street in New Castle County from early morning until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. The competition is over a two day period.
The competition include four rounds of court cases, with either defense or prosecution team competing. Lusch said, “Students also get an opportunity to meet a bunch of bright kids from other schools.”
In addition to the students getting these real life skills, William Penn gets to show off some of its students. Lusch said, “It strengthens the rep when schools get an opportunity to see what some of our students are capable of doing particularly since we are competing against charter schools, private schools and the like.”
Mock trial is a good opportunity for students who are interested in law to get experience in the field. Mock trial is open to all students grades 9-12. In order to sign up all the students would have to do is listen to the announcements in the morning or they can have teachers recommend it to them. However students do not have to be in the legal studies major in order to take his classes, the students would just have to sign up for the classes when the scheduling process starts at the end of the year.