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13 October, 2006

Mock Trial lawyer tells all

Now in its fourteenth successful year, the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition aims to introduce the legal system to young people in an innovative and exciting way, with the opportunity to gain hands on experience. Here Sabrina Raza, a pupil at Kendrick School, recalls an 'exciting day' in court.

My Experience in the Mock Trial Competition

Sabrina Raza

The opportunity presented to me to take part in the Mock Trial competition helped me realise that the legal profession is where I would fit in well. It offered me an insight into a career both rewarding and challenging. Rewarding because of the stimulating work and the prestige of being a qualified lawyer, but challenging too because of the high standards and competition that apply at all levels.

Now a Sixth form student currently studying my A levels at Kendrick School, I first took part in the competition in March 2003, when I was studying in year eight. I was given the part of a prosecution witness and the defendant of a drugs case. We approached the challenge with a lot of enthusiasm and optimism. Regular rehearsals and extra homework during the previous six months, in preparation for the big day, became customary, in addition to a visit to the magistrate’s court prior to the competition date so that we became familiar with the court settings and proceedings.

On the day of the competition, we were all very excited and raring to go. The atmosphere was momentous, with all the teams being extremely secretive and also confused of where to go for their first ‘court case!’

My first impression as I stepped into the courtroom was profound wonder as well as respect for a place where as they say ‘justice prevails.’ Even though we were only acting, I felt that as the case progressed I was in a real situation, fighting a real case, surrounded by real lawyers, magistrates and witnesses. It was an experience that will always remain unforgettable helped of course by the fact that we won the local and Berkshire heats to eventually reach the finals in Nottingham. Unfortunately, we did not win the finals but at any rate at least we enjoyed the event.

The following year I once again had the chance to take part, but this time playing the role of a 1st defence lawyer. Whilst performing my examination-in-chief, my cross-examination and my closing speech I felt that this was what I felt most comfortable doing and something which I would like to do in the future as well.

Taking part in the Mock trial made me aware of the fact that the law pervades our lives. It provides the framework within which a successful society can flourish. Being a lawyer to me means undertaking a responsibility of helping others solve their problems through means of our legal system. I strive closer to my goal of one day becoming a lawyer and standing in a court of justice to say… ‘Your Honour, I rest my case!’

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