Idaho School Places Sixth in National High School Mock Trial Championship

The mock trial team from The Ambrose School in Meridian placed sixth in National High School Mock Trial Championship. This is the second time the school has placed in the top 10 at the national tournament. Ambrose also placed sixth in the 2016 competition. The national championship was sponsored by the Indiana Bar Foundation from May 12 to 14. 46 teams from all parts of the United States as well as South Korea participated in the virtual tournament.

Ambrose qualified to represent Idaho at the National High School Mock Trial Championship by winning Idaho’s state competition in March. One of Ambrose’s coaches, Caitlyn Yates said that it was a privilege to coach a team of students this season who are so naturally talented and passionate about Mock Trial. “The students adapted quickly to the virtual format of this year’s competition and competed with competency and poise. They poured hours of work into preparing for both the state and national competitions, all while balancing demanding workloads from their classes. I am so proud of the students and all they accomplished!”

In addition to Caitlyn Yates, the team is coached by David Goodwin. Team members include Ben Perrigo, Corban Reyna, Hailei Browne, Lydia Colby, Audrey Hansell and graduating seniors Abby Davis and Kristen Stanciu. Stanciu, the team captain, said of the experience, “The chance to go to nationals this year with my team was the opportunity of a lifetime. I am so thankful that we were able to compete against some of the most skilled schools in the nation. I am also incredibly grateful to our coaches, parents, and volunteers who dedicated so much of their time to helping us succeed.”

All teams in the championship participated in four rounds of competition in virtual Zoom Courtrooms with the top two teams facing off for the national championship on Saturday afternoon. Idaho faced New Jersey, Florida, Texas, and New Mexico in their rounds of competition.

Ambrose Coach, David Goodwin, wanted to express his gratitude to the Idaho mock trial program. “The Idaho Law Foundation’s Law Related Education Program worked alongside Ambrose every step of the way after the state championship. The support from sitting judges like Hon. Jessica Lorello and others as well as mock trial experts like David Lloyd and Law Related Education Director Carey Shoufler was a labor on their part that paid dividends.  The students and coaches learned so much from these professionals.”

Judge Lorello added, “Helping prepare Ambrose for the National Mock Trial Championship was a treat!  The students were terrific to work with and very impressive.  Congratulations to Ambrose on their outstanding performance!”

For more information about the National High School Mock Trial Championship, visit nationalmocktrial.org. For more information about Idaho’s mock trial program, visit idahomocktrial.org or contact Carey Shoufler.

About the National High School Mock Trial Championship

The National High School Mock Trial Championship is a hands-on civic education activity for high school students. The tournament is hosted annually by different states and includes up to 48 teams, including Guam, South Korea, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and State Champion teams from across the country. Working with attorney and teacher coaches, participants prepare a hypothetical legal case and present it in a simulated courtroom competition held in May. In real and virtual courtrooms, before real judges and attorneys, teams try cases they have been preparing since the beginning of April. From opening statements, through direct and cross examination of witnesses, to closing arguments, each team has its own attorneys and witnesses and must be ready to present either side of the case before juries who score their performances.

About the Idaho Law Foundation & Law Related Education

The Idaho Law Foundation is the charitable arm of the Idaho State Bar. As a program of the Foundation, Law Related Education is a statewide civic education program that works to enhance public understanding of the legal system and bring together attorneys and teachers to help students of all ages understand the role of law in a democratic society. For more information, visit idaholawfoundation.org.

2021 Law Day Podcast Contest Awards

The Idaho Law Foundation’s Law Related Education Program is proud to announce that three Idaho students were selected for prizes in the Foundation’s award-winning Annual Law Day Podcast Contest. Student podcasts explored the 2021 Law Day theme celebrating the importance of advancing the rule of law. Podcasts explored how to promote the rule of law to better defend liberty and create a more just society.

The top three student entries include:

  • First Place: Sophia Willmorth, One Stone, Boise. Sophia is in tenth grade. Her podcast focused on the relationship between law and morality.
  • Second Place: Sarah Cole, Mountain View High School, Meridian. Sarah is a senior. Her podcast explored the application of American civil liberties throughout US history.
  • Third Place: Isabel Martin, One Stone, Boise. Isabel is a ninth grader. She created her podcast about inequalities in the American foster care system.

For the 2021 Podcast Contest, the Law Foundation began awarding an honorarium to the school of the winning student. Allison Parker and Jun Campion of One Stone offered their congratulations to Sophia and Izzy for their incredibly hard work on their winning entries. They indicated that the Podcast Contest has been a rich learning opportunity for One Stone students.

The Law Day Podcast Contest is open to Idaho high school students. Entrants submit 5 to 10-minute audio podcasts and can create their podcast individually or in groups. For 2021, the contest was sponsored by the Fourth District Bar Association, whose financial contribution allowed the Foundation to award prizes the top three entries along with an honorarium to the school of the first-place student.

Podcasts were critiqued by a panel of judges that included educators and attorneys. The judges scored the submissions on content, delivery, and production. One of the judges, Hon. Jessica Lorello, said, “I loved judging the podcast contest. The students are so creative in their presentations and thoughtful about the rule of law topic assigned in the prompt.  It’s so inspiring to see (and hear!) students involved in civics education!”

The Idaho Law Foundation would like to thank our judges and sponsors for their support of the Podcast Contest. We appreciate their dedication to advancing civic education in our state.

The podcast entries can be accessed from the Law Foundation’s website. For more information about the Law Day Podcast Contest, contact Carey Shoufler, Idaho Law Foundation Law Related Education Director.

Idaho State Bar and Idaho Law Foundation Offering Limited Services

The Idaho State Bar and Idaho Law Foundation are committed to providing as many services as possible to lawyers and the public. To comply with guidance from State and Federal entities and to ensure the health and safety of the staff and our members, our offices, including the meeting rooms, are closed to the public and bar members.

Phones are staffed a few hours a day. If you call and are directed to voicemail, please leave a message – calls are returned as soon as possible. Staff members are available by email. Please reference the ISB/ILF Staff Directory.

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