Guilty or not guilty? That was the question as a mock trial tutorial unfolded for seven students from Baltimore City public schools who are among those participating in the Law Exploration Academic Pathway’s (LEAP) Forensic Mock Trial Camp.
Founded by University of Maryland Carey School of Law alumnus Kirk Crawley, JD ’88, the camp is based at Franklin Square Elementary/Middle School, but some activities take place at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and Frederick Douglass High School, where Crawley teaches.
On July 9, another Carey Law alum, Sally McMillan Guy, JD ’11, laid out the scenario for the students as a first step in preparing them to perform a mock trial later in their camp based on the book Lord of the Flies. For this outing, in a UM Carey classroom, the alleged infraction involved adolescent behavior but was far less complex. Was the accused, Susie Parsons, breaking her school’s rules by eating snacks? Or was she a volunteer cleaning up after someone else?
After various students played the roles of witnesses, attorneys, and members of the jury, the foreman announced that the jury had found for the defendant.
“Court is now in recess,” said Guy, acting in the role of the judge.
“What we had here was circumstantial evidence,” she added, this time in the role of instructor explaining why the jury did not find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In actuality, Guy is a senior policy analyst and legislative counsel in the Maryland General Assembly’s Department of Legislative Services who coaches mock trial teams at Carey Law in her spare time. Helping facilitate her interaction with the LEAP campers and their counselors was Michele Hayes, JD, LLM, assistant dean for student affairs at Carey Law.
In addition to these types of activities for the mind, the students in the LEAP camp can exercise and swim during weekly access to the facilities at URecFit at the SMC Campus Center, thanks to arrangements by the UMB Office of Community Engagement.
To see more photos from the mock trial, go to UMB’s Facebook page.