Shippensburg University students got to put their criminal justice knowledge to the test on February 11 and 12 at the University of Pittsburg for a Mock Trial Competition.
Mock Trial takes place all across the nation and gives students the opportunity to act as lawyers and witnesses in order to compete with other schools.
The case that was presented to the students this year involved a 21st birthday celebration by Vanessa Sullivan and her two friends. Sullivan is the daughter of a prominent prosecutor in the town of Midland. After several hours of celebrating, Sullivan got in a car with her two friends. The driver lost control of the car, resulting in Sullivan’s death.
Dr. Stephanie Jirard introduced Shippensburg students to the Mock Trial Competition when she joined the faculty and students have been competing in the event since 2005. Each participant in the competition gets the same case and the same evidence and has to use their knowledge of the criminal justice system and critical thinking skills in order to beat their opponent.
Virtually all of Shippensburg team that competed this year consisted of students who had competed in Mock Trial last year with two new students: Lauren Hauck and Josh Silbersack. “I learned so much from it. Our advisor, Dr. Jirard, was amazing and let us have fun with it while also making it a learning experience. I would recommend taking part in Mock Trial to any student who has an interest in law,” said Lauren Hauck.
The Shippensburg students won their case against Kent State of Ohio but lost to Allegheny College and William & Jefferson College.
Dr. Jirard said, “Despite our losses, our team delivered outstanding performances and I am very proud of all they have accomplished.”