NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Answering tough questions are but a small part of this practice of the Dillard University Mock Trial Team.
A young team, but a team on the rise nonetheless says Attorney coach Adria Kimbrough.
“About 6 years ago we started this team, both myself and judge Kern Reese and that first group he said ‘the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. At that point that one step seemed so far from where we are right now,” said Kimbrough.
Where the team is now is on their way to the American Mock Trial Association’s national championship tournament. The only Louisiana School headed there, and making history as one of two HBCU teams competing at the nationals. For these undergrads the training is valuable.
Dillard senior and team member Taylor Ponds stated, “We’re getting actual experience in the courtroom. Not just learning what certain words mean, what this objection is supposed to mean but practicing making those objections.”
For the coaches, readying the next generation of capable trial lawyers is goal of the team and this experience.
Orleans Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese is also a coach and added, “Advocates are going to be needed. People who can go into a court, and make a sound reasonable argument, who can try a case and who can obtain justice. And my participation here is to hopefully guide some of these young people to fulfill those roles.”
At the Opening Round Championship in Memphis, Dillard posted a 7-0 and 1 record. And while competing again some of the more storied pre-law programs in the country carries it’s share of weight and pressures, the work this team has put in positions them ready for the nationals.
“You just know that you’re supposed to be there for a reason and that you have a purpose and job to do,” stated senior and team member Lajeanne Shelton.
According to Kimbrough, 100% of the Dillard seniors have been accepted into law school.
Dillard will compete against 47 other teams at the nation championships, April 8-10th in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.