Eastern Kentucky University offers a nationally recognized Mock Trial program. Coached by Thomas Parker, Lynnette Noblitt and Kristeena Johnson. EKU teams compete successfully against students from the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation. Under the jurisdiction of the American Mock Trial Association undergraduate students are presented with an opportunity to learn first hand about the work of trial attorneys, to understand the judicial system, to develop critical thinking ability, and to enhance communication skills. In teams of 6 to 10 competitors, students prepare a criminal or civil case using materials provided by the national association and play the roles of witnesses and attorneys. Josh Lang, a captain for the EKU Mock Trial team, describes the realistic role of an attorney within a mock trial competition. "An attorney will make legal arguments, objections arguments, before the judge and jury that will call and examine the witnesses and cross examine the other team's witnesses." Witnesses are equally important to the team success by telling the story. "Witnesses are given witness statements or reports and depositions and their role is to take on the persona of this witness and present the facts as known to the witnesses." Laura Jackson, a freshman member of the EKU Mock Trial team, joined the team to prepare herself for the future. "I heard that it would give me great experience because I'm a pre-law student as a freshman and I think it will give me a lot of experience for law school and in my career afterwards." Students interested are not limited to careers in law but pursue majors across disciplines campus wide such as psychology, education, and foreign language. The highly competitive team requires students to undergo an audition and then enroll for class credit according to New York Attorney, now Department of Government Chair, Lynette Noblitt. "You both enroll in POL 466, the course associated with mock trial and then you also sign a syllabus contract, agreeing to travel with the team. It's a two-semester commitment you sign up for both fall and spring." EKU's Mock Trial team will continue their season by competing at The Spartan Throwdown in Cleveland in late October.
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