Law Day 2023
Justice Has Been Served: Not Guilty
On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at 10 am, Corpus Christi Catholic School’s seventh and eighth-grade students had their day in court thanks to the partnership between CCCS, the Ottawa County 20th Circuit Court, the ABA, Mr. Kevin Bowling, Ms. Carol Zorn, and Mr. Charles Murray. The Honorable Paul F. Kraus of the 20th Circuit Court presided. We were pleased to welcome Mr. Anthony Grech’s social studies class from Saugatuck Middle School as our jury this year.
Students have explored the criminal case process and how our legal system administers justice with arguments involving the United States Constitution. The students have gained the following through active participation:
- First-hand knowledge of courtroom procedures and our judicial system throughout history
- Increased proficiency in reading, public speaking, and critical thinking skills
- Analyzing and reasoning
- Deductive and inferential thinking
- Public speaking skills (i.e. listening, oral presentation, extemporaneous argument, questions)
- Preparation and organization of materials and time management
- Exposure to a wide range of law-related careers
- The opportunity to interact with adult role models from our legal community
Students began with learning the basics: discussing ethics, distinguishing right from wrong, learning about our legal system, legal terminology, elements of a crime, the United States Constitution, the presumption of innocence, the concepts of reasonable doubt, and the roles of attorneys, witnesses, the judge, jury, bailiffs, and clerks.
Once the student attorneys had a basic knowledge of court decorum, each student assumed a role: writing their own statements and memorizing specific case details and witness statements. The classroom was reshaped into a mock courtroom to enhance the students’ practice and role-playing. The students transformed into young lawyers preparing to represent their client and present their case.
This experience is exquisite in promoting cooperation and healthy academic competition among students possessing various abilities and interests. There is nothing like hands-on experiences beyond the classroom walls to help students learn about the law, society, and themselves. We always look forward to having “Our Day in Court.” Thank you to everyone who participated in this trial.
To the lawyers, witnesses, bailiffs, and jury members: “A job well done.”