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Fourth annual mock trial for first-year law students

01 Feb 2022 / education Print

Fourth annual mock trial for first-year law students

For the fourth consecutive year, first-year law students from Letterkenny Institute of Technology have conducted a mock trial in the local courthouse.

As part of the ‘Foundations of Law’ first-year module, lecturer and local solicitor Daireen Laverty successfully coordinated the trials, which took place over two days in December.

Daireen was assisted by Richard Roe, a visiting professor who is now retired from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

With the assistance of Court Service staff, the 2021 trials were deemed a great success.

Preparations involved over 12 classroom hours of interactive, activity-based work developing legal, analytical, advocacy, communications and team-building skills, at both individual and team level.

A variety of teaching methods honed legal and public-speaking skills in each class, Professor Roe said.

The goal was to use the mock-trial experience to immerse the students in high-level cognitive and expressive skills in a developmental fashion.

Lecturer Daireen Laverty said that the mock trial initiative allowed students to learn about the legal process, and to develop their own confidence and self-esteem. 

“The real value is in the students’ experience, and seeing them accomplish something that they didn’t necessarily think that they could achieve during their first semester of studying law,” she said.

Confidence boost

“It is a profound experience and can be an incredible boost for students’ confidence,” she added, praising their enthusiastic embrace of the mock trial experience.

“They were amazing and always rise to the occasion each year,” Laverty said.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland