Mock trial competitions aren’t just for law students. Temple Law School is also raising up the next generation of advocates. Since 1974, the Temple LEAP (Law Education And Participation) Program has been teaching Philadelphia-area middle and high school students about law, citizenship, and the principles of democracy while developing critical reading, writing, and thinking skills.
LEAP’s 2021 “Boot Camp,” held online, became an opportunity for students from across the state to engage with one another and access lessons on trial advocacy by leaders of the Philadelphia Bar Association – and they did, with more than 100 students from over 30 school districts logging on to hear from distinguished Philadelphia attorneys, including Chancellor Lauren McKenna.
Much like law school, it was an intense experience, with lessons and hands-on practice sessions on everything from opening statements to objections over the course of a November Saturday. Of particular note was the lecture on closing arguments, delivered by incoming Chancellor Wesley Payne. The students will draw on these lessons as they prepare for the cornerstone of the LEAP program – the John S. Bradway Mock Trial Competition, held each spring.
LEAP has been a true partnership between Temple Law School and the Philadelphia Bar Association – in particular the Young Lawyers Division, whose members step up to teach and inspire the students during the boot camp and volunteer their time throughout the school year as coaches and judges for the John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition in February. If you are interested in volunteering, please reach out to LEAPmocktrial@gmail.com.