Cases, Corrections, Convictions

Students recreate trials to prepare for future competitions.


Students read over a synopsis before they discuss a court case.

The banging of a gavel, the verdict of being guilty or innocent, and the results facing a trial are all things that students interested in law would love to see. That outlet can be pursued through Mock Trial.

Mrs. Theis, a social studies teacher here at PLHS, is the head coach of Mock Trial. This will be Mrs. Theis’ second year as the head coach of the club, taking the place of Mr. Herbner, the former coach.

 “He approached me and asked if I wanted to do it, and I was interested and thought it would be cool,” Theis said. 

 Theis describes the club as something that simulates what an actual criminal trial would be like while they compete against other schools.

“A club that students can be a part of where they compete against other schools and it simulates what an actual criminal trial would be like,” Theis said.

Trials are not formed from Theis, though, as club members have a procedure on recreating court cases.

“We get a fake court case that the state creates and gives to use read it and mark up all these documents, then we formulate all these questions and put together our witness statements,” senior and Mock Trial captain Dannika Rees said.

Practices, held every Thursday morning in room 105, usually consist of team members running through questions and corrections.

“Having the team members come in and run through the questioning that they’ve created or we talk about, and practice objections and how to respond to them,” Theis said.

PLHS’ Mock Trial team also competes with other teams across the district.

 “Usually, there is someone acting as the judge that’s typically, in real life, a judge or attorney. And then we have three attorneys that are acting as the jury. Then they grade us based on objections that we make, points that we get across, and how well we know the case,” Rees said. 

Mock trial enables students to think critically and analytically about problems while also having fun doing it.

 “It’s very analytical and problem solving based and it’s so fun to help coach kids into kinda seeing a like logical progression, and to get or pull information out of certain scenarios and see them kinda click and be able to have it all come together,” Theis said. 

Mock Trial is a fun way to surround yourself with like minded individuals and build a bond with your teammates which, in return, creates a sense of community for these kids. 

“My favorite part about Mock Trial is definitely just the team bonding and how fun the team is,” Rees said. “Mock Trial has so many different people from so many different areas of the school and just such different personality traits and so it’s really fun to get to work in a team with people that are so different.”