Mock Trial Teaches CYMS Gifted and Talented Students About Legal System

Students from the Gifted and Talented Program at CYMS recently participated in a mock trial event at the Townsend Justice Center. Students spent countless hours researching, planning, and strategizing for the big day! In the morning, 7th-grade students participated in a mock trial regarding a civil case. Later in the day, 8th-grade students participated in a criminal mock trial. Judge Wilking presided over both trials.

Whitney Wilking, CYMS Gifted and Talented Program Teacher shared, “The project certainly challenged the kids, but it also made it to the top of the list as a favorite unit for most of them.  A highlight for me was taking a back seat as the mentor attorneys, Ian Sandefer, Jamie Woolsey, and Richard Wilking strategized with the students and guided them through witness questioning. The student attorneys and witnesses nailed trial day at the Townsend Justice Center. I couldn’t be more proud of this group!”

At the conclusion of the trial, after the jury had delivered their verdict, Judge Wilking asked if there were any questions.  7th-grader, CJ Sanchez, asked, “When can we do it again?”

When asked to describe the mock trial experience students said:

I thought it was a great experience. It was very straining and frustrating at times, working on our case, but overall it was very gratifying and I learned a lot. Like, it isn’t as easy as the attorneys make it look, and all of the courtroom shows really don’t show much of the real experience.” Jack – 7th-grade Plaintiff’s Attorney

“I will consider making a profession in law and I learned a lot, but I did not like the jury’s decision.” Alexander – 7th grade Defense Attorney

“It’s much more complicated than it seems, once you get into it. I was presented with a lot of challenges, and it got me to think strategically. The whole thing was a lot of fun, and I find myself reflecting on it and wishing we could do another one.” Braydin – 8th grade Defense Attorney

“It was hard, but it was so much fun that it didn’t really matter.  10/10 I would recommend.” Sofia- 8th grade Defense Attorney

“It was both challenging and confusing. I learned a lot about how court works. TV shows don’t represent what the courtroom and justice system is actually like. I would gladly do it again.”  Harlee – 7th grade Witness /Paralegal

“It was a very excruciating experience but when the final product was done it was amazing”  CJ – 7th-grade Plaintiff’s Attorney

I had a lot of fun and want to do it again because it was very educational and I learned that I need to do my homework more.” Matthew – 7th grade Defense Attorney

“This was a very rewarding experience for me.  One thing that I really like about the G/T program is that due to our smaller size, we are able to learn through unique projects like this.” Calla – 8th-grade Prosecutor



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