Recently I volunteered to assist Adam Schwab, my youngest daughter’s Practical Law professor at Midlothian High School. Mr. Schwab created a simulated court trial during his practical law classes, providing his students with a memorable, hands-on learning experience.
Periodically I visited the students in each of his 3 classes to advise them on their upcoming trial. Inspired by their enthusiasm, I made a few phone calls and scored a spot in a courtroom at the University of Richmond, where the high school classes would be conducting a moot court trial almost identical to those held by up-and-coming law students studying at the University. I also tagged along in order to oversee and advise the court proceedings.
Mr. Schwab, who acted as the presiding judge over each of the cases, admitted that his legal background extended just as far as the pages of the Practical Law textbook that his students used. Although the Practical Law professor had a relatively small textbook with which to teach a very difficult and technical subject, it was clear when watching his students simulate trials that Schwab’s understanding of the subject goes a long way.
My job was to stand by and coach him through the numerous objections and procedural motions, making the simulation as realistic as possible. While I didn’t try to convince any of the students to pursue a career in legal services, it was uplifting to see so many students with such big dreams and aspirations. I’ve spoken with Mr. Schwab and he told me that students are lining up to take this class in hopes of having a chance to step into a real courtroom and see how it feels to be a lawyer.
Whether they pursue a career in the legal division or not, these impressive students have a bright future ahead. I was proud to be a part of this field trip, and for that I must thank Adam Schwab, who was nice enough to invite me.