The team from Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts won first place at the 42nd Annual Texas High School Mock Trial Competition on Saturday, March 6, at a competition held virtually.
The competition included more than 20 high school teams from across the state to argue a hypothetical criminal court case written by local attorneys with the Dallas Bar Association. These teams, which emerged as the best among their school districts and regions, were matched against one another, culminating in the final championship round on Saturday afternoon. The Booker T. Washington team will represent the State of Texas at the 2021 Virtual National High School Mock Trial Competition May 13-15.
Meanwhile, Booker T. Washington student Sophia Londsdale-Hands placed second in the courtroom artist state competition.
Judges and attorneys served as “jurors,” and selected the teams that were best prepared and demonstrated exceptional presentation skills. Students portrayed prosecution and defense attorneys, as well as “witnesses.” The “case” is tried by students from approximately 165 Texas schools annually.
Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet also placed third in the tournament. In addition, Hanan Yousef, of Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, received the 2021 Outstanding Advocate Award.
The National High School Mock Trial Competition is the ultimate law-related education experience for the best and brightest high school students around the globe. The program is dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of the American judicial system through an academic competition.
The Dallas Bar Association has sponsored and coordinated the statewide program since its inception in the 1970s to teach high school students how the justice system works and how the law is applied in everyday life, and to expose them to critical thinking exercises and quick analysis through preparation and presentation. In the 40-year history, the Texas High School Mock Trial Competition has had more than 120,000 participants and has awarded approximately $300,000 in scholarships at the local, regional and state levels. More information about the program is available at www.texashighschoolmocktrial.com.