Bachus & Schanker, LLC hosts student mock trial competition

mock trial students in Aurura ColoradoBachus & Schanker, LLC hosted the Aurora Central High School Mock Trial Team in February for a scrimmage against Rangeview High School students in preparation for a regional competition. The students and their coach, Aurora Central High School teacher Monique Taylor, came on a Saturday to use Bachus & Schanker’s full courtroom and state-of-the-art focus group facilities. Practicing here gave them a good sense of the trial process and what to expect at the competition.

The Colorado Bar Association sponsors the High School Mock Trial Program. More than 100 high school teams and approximately 1,500 students participate, and perform as attorneys and/or witnesses in a court case.

“The Mock Trial Program is a unique way for legal practitioners to come together to volunteer their time and mentor students who have an interest in the legal profession,” said Darin Schanker, founding partner at Bachus & Schanker, LLC. “It a great way to be involved in our community and work with our fellow attorneys and legal professionals.”

Some of Aurora Central’s students shared their thoughts on their experiences from that day below:

  • “Being able to practice at Bachus & Schanker was very important to us and our success as a team. We needed to have the real court experience, especially those of us that were new to the mock trial experience. Your generosity was greatly appreciated. We know that you are very busy people and we appreciate that you take the time to help high school students. I am amazed that so many lawyers are so giving of their time and willing to help students to be successful.”
    -Phoenix Taylor-Carter
  • “I was one of the lawyers. My team during regionals took 7th out of the 16 teams that competed. (It) was a great experience. I felt that the practices, including the one held at Bachus & Schanker, were a terrific learning (experience) and I can’t wait to do it again next year.”
    -Tyeler Fields
  • “My team did very well at regionals; we took 7th place, which is impressive considering that most of these teams are from schools that are considered very prestigious. These kids live and breathe mock trial because they want to be lawyers. I myself played an expert witness for the prosecution and did very well. The reason I did very well was mostly because of my coaches and the lawyers that helped us. The lawyers who work with us have given so much to help us. For instance, one of them took us to Bachus & Schanker so we could scrimmage our friends at Rangeview High School. This was our only chance to see what the teams at other schools were like. It gave us an experience that was extremely beneficial and helped us learn. I am grateful for everything that our coaches have done for us; it has inspired me to join again next year.”
    -Matthew Bouchey
  • “I was one of the witnesses. I was pretty nervous for the competition, but once I had started, I had a lot of fun responding to the other lawyers’ questions. We would practice hard and weekly. One of our practices was held at Bachus & Schanker and I felt like it was a good representation of a courtroom. I had a great mock trial experience and I am planning on joining again as a lawyer next year.”
    -Kevin Nguyen
  • “I acted as two witnesses. My experience with this year’s mock trial program was great. I felt like the atmosphere during practice and competition was high and active. Everyone was consistently happy, while taking things seriously. Our practices were efficient and (held) weekly just (to) make sure everyone is (was) ready for competition day. This is my first year and with such a great experience, I plan on joining again next year.”
    -Danny Nguyen

Aurora Central’s Mock Trial Team has made a name for themselves over the past few years and has won at both regional and state competition levels. This year, they placed seventh out of 16 teams.

Bachus & Schanker, LLC is proud to have been able to help them prepare and be a part of their success. Many thanks to the Colorado Bar Association High School Mock Trial Program, attorneys Natalie Brown and Christina Habas and the students’ sponsor, Monique Taylor.

Photo courtesy of Monique Taylor, Aurora Public School District

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