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High School Students Participate in Innaugural Mock Trial Competition

Feb. 2, 2017
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Dozens of North Medford High School (NMHS) and South Medford High School (SMHS) students faced off Tuesday in the district's first ever Introduction to Law Mock Trial Competition. 

"This course (Introduction to Law) connects students with an interest in the law profession, criminal justice, paralegal, or law-making," said NMHS Introduction to Law teacher Paul Steckbauer. “The mock trial competition allows students to get a sense of how a real trial is conducted as they play roles of those in a court hearing.”

While SMHS won by half a point, it was a well-fought contest with NMHS. NMHS is in its first year offering Introduction to Law; the course will be offered at SMHS next year. Introduction to Law is just the first class in what will become a Pre-Law Pathway offered to Medford high school students.

"As we saw yesterday, and in following with the spirit of pathways, Mock Trial and similar programs have an ability to incorporate community members and professionals into the educational process with students," said SMHS Law and Social Studies teacher Paul Cynar. "With the support of the Honorable Lisa Greif who presided over the case; Faith Morse an attorney with Kelly L Andersen Law Offices who helped prepare our students before the trial; our judges Michelle Zundel, Jennifer Esmay, Thaddeus Pouck, Michael Campbell, and Peter Carini; and the support of Dr. Shumate and the North Medford facilities staff, we had a very successful competition," said Cynar.

In the near future, the district hopes to expand the course into an Intermediate Law course, and later, an Advanced Law course with a Mock Trial Club that competes in state competitions.