Elementary School Mock Trial

Project Summary

Student volunteers on this project will work closely with McCarthy Tétrault lawyers to deliver an educational program in 2-4 Calgary elementary schools. The workshops delivered will prepare elementary students to participate in an interactive civil mock trial where they will play the roles of clients, lawyers, witnesses, and jury members. The workshops will be taught to one classroom per school (approximately 25-35 students maximum per workshop). The focus of this project is to prioritize underserved schools in Calgary so that students who experience barriers to opportunity can learn about the law in an inspirational way.

“This project is a lot a fun as the students are really engaged and excited to participate. A mock trial I participated in as a child helped spark my interest in the law, and it is rewarding to think that this project could also inspire some of them in the same way.”

Michael Wald, 2L
Project Lead

“Teaching enthusiastic elementary students about the Canadian judicial system is both rewarding and fun!”

Catherine Ohler, 2L
Project Lead

Number of Students and Prerequisites

– 12 student volunteers and 2 project leads
– 1Ls are strongly encouraged to apply
– No prerequisites required
– Experience working with children, teens, or in an educative role is an asset, but not required

Area of Law

– Civil Law
– Court Procedure

Legal Skills

– Delivery of legal information
– Public speaking skills

Project Type

Public Legal Education Project

Project Timeline

Student volunteers on this project are expected to volunteer from October 2020 to March 2021 (excluding December 2020). Workshop delivery in schools will take place remotely in the Winter 2021 Term (January-March 2021). Resource creation and all other planning for remote delivery in January 2021 will take place during the Fall 2020 Term (October-November 2020).

Students will be expected to volunteer 3-5 hours per week. For the Winter 2021 Term, the greatest time commitment is expected to be during the week of the mock trial in the classrooms. In the past, student volunteers were required to attend at least one day (minimum 3-4 hours) each semester. This could either remain the same for the project this year, or this time commitment could be reduced depending on the capacity of the elementary schools involved.

Student volunteers may be required to miss class due to scheduling of the mock trials, but this will not happen more than once during the January-March 2021 period.

Required Training

All training for this project is schedule and provided by PBSC Calgary. This training will take place in September-October 2020, and will not conflict with students’ course schedules.

The following PBSC training sessions are mandatory to volunteer on this project:
– PBSC Process Overview
– PBSC Ethics and Professional Responsibility Training
– PBSC Anti-Oppression Training
– Westlaw Research Strategies Training

Specific dates and times will be provided once volunteers are placed on their respective projects.

COVID-19 Contingency Plan

Student volunteers on this project will conduct all of their project-related work, training sessions, and meetings remotely for the duration of the project. The possibility of in-person work, training sessions, and meetings is subject to directives from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law and Alberta’s public health authority.

How to Apply?

Applications for the 2020/2021 year are now closed. The application deadline for the 2021/2022 cycle will become available August 2021.