Long Island Law<br/>
Long Island Law
Touro Law Students Bring Mock Trial Competition to Brentwood High School.
Touro Law Center recently hosted an inaugural Mock Trial Competition for Brentwood High School students. In the program, students from the law school’s Trial Advocacy Practice Society (TAPS) worked with 25 high school students, in the first after school program of its kind in Brentwood. The program culminated with the students arguing their case in front of a New York State Supreme Court Justice and a law secretary to a federal judge.
The law students worked after school for several weeks to teach the high school students about the law and how to serve as trial attorneys. The program, which was completely voluntary for all involved, is intended to introduce high school students to legal concepts and inspire them to pursue careers in the Justice system.
“The success of this program exceeded our expectations on many levels,” stated Touro Law Dean Harry Ballan. “The high school students displayed great knowledge and poise in the final rounds, and Touro students did an excellent job preparing them for the trial. We are dedicated to ensuring the program continues, enabling more high school students in our neighborhood to understand the role law plays in society.”
The law students created the competition problem and trained the high school students how to play all the roles in the hypothetical case: witnesses, parties, court personnel and lawyers. . The bench for the final round was New York State Court of Claims Judge and Acting State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho, and Peter Ausili, confidential law secretary to a federal judge Judge Camacho is one of the most recognized judges in the state. He created, and continues to preside over, a Youth Court program serving Suffolk’s teenage population and has been instrumental in ensuring that adolescents are treated for their problems rather than merely punished. Peter Ausili is an adjunct professor of law at Touro Law Center as well as principal law clerk to United States District Court, Eastern District of New York Judge Leonard Wexler. He is also an alum of Brentwood High School.
Third-year Law student Phillip Castrovinci, vice-president of TAPS, stated, “This was a great program for all involved. The students learned a great deal about law, public speaking and debate skills in a short period of time while having fun. And, all of the law students had a great time working with and teaching the high school students. It was quite rewarding.”
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