INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The Indiana Bar Foundation has launched an effort to bring mock trial programs to more Hoosier high schools. The nonprofit says the mock trial diversity initiative is designed to eliminate financial barriers for schools to participate and provide them with legal advisors and mentors.
High school mock trials, according to the foundation, uses civil and criminal trials to give students a hands-on approach to learning the law and legal system. Students portray attorneys and witnesses and present their testimony and evidence to panels of attorneys and judges who evaluate their presentations.
The foundation says establishing a new mock trial team costs about $4,200. As part of the initiative, several central Indiana law firms and organizations have committed more than $40,000 to help offset those costs.
“There is a vital need to expand the mock trial program in minority and low-income high schools in Indiana,” Charles Dunlap, president of the Indiana Bar Foundation, said in a news release. “We hope this initiative will serve as a pipeline to increase diversity in the legal profession for years to come.”
The funding for the initiative is being provided by Krieg DeVault LLP, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Lumina Foundation, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Ice Miller LLP, and Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP.