Pace High School Law Academy students present Mock Trials

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 0 Comments


As the first academic semester came to an end, the students from Monsignor Edward Pace High School's Law Studies Academy experienced a real look at the judicial system as they were assigned with presenting mock trials for their final project. The students brought the courtroom to the Pace campus as they worked on a fictional assault and battery case of State v. Randall. 

In this assignment, the class was divided into teams where one was the prosecution and the other team played the role of the defense. Other students played the role of the case characters, the jury or the trial audience.

In the weeks leading up to the mock trials, students worked closely with teacher John M. Rodriguez to refine their opening statements, direct examination, cross examination and closing arguments. As the students prepped, they received feedback that would be taken into account as they pieced it all together in the final trials. 

These mock trials were conducted as if the students were in a real courtroom. Students were also encouraged to dress professionally and conduct themselves like real trial lawyers. 

Lead teacher Rodriguez brings a highly experienced background to the Pace students after serving as a law enforcement officer and sergeant for eight years. He then left law enforcement to become a practicing attorney, where he worked for 25 years. Throughout his legal career, he tried hundreds of cases and served as Assistant State Attorney and Chief Prosecutor of the Traffic Division.

The Academy for Law is a concentrated track of courses offered at Pace to help students explore their interest in law-related careers. The program offers Criminal Justice Operation courses, with a goal to aid students in providing insights on careers within the legal system such as attorneys, paralegals and law enforcement. 

For more information on Pace's Academy for Law Studies, contact Rodriguez at


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