Course Description

This course offers students an immersive experience in the fields of law, public speaking, and critical thinking through mock trials and debate competitions. Students will learn about the legal system, trial procedures, and courtroom etiquette, while also developing skills in research, argumentation, and persuasive communication. Through mock trials, students will take on roles such as attorneys, witnesses, and judges to simulate real courtroom scenarios. In the debate component, students will engage in formal debates on a variety of topics, honing their abilities to construct logical arguments, rebut opposing views, and think on their feet. This course fosters teamwork, enhances public speaking skills, and encourages a deep understanding of justice and ethics. It is ideal for students interested in law, government, or any career requiring strong communication and critical thinking skills.

Course Details

Mock Trial & Debate

Ninth Grade Tenth Grade Eleventh Grade Twelfth Grade

Course Objectives

  • Understand the fundamentals of the legal system and trial procedures.
  • Develop skills in public speaking, argumentation, and critical thinking.
  • Learn courtroom roles and etiquette through mock trial simulations.
  • Engage in formal debates to practice constructing logical arguments and rebuttals.
  • Explore concepts of justice, ethics, and legal reasoning.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Introduction to Law and Public Speaking

  • Overview of the Legal System
    • The structure of the court system.
    • Key legal concepts and terminology.
  • Fundamentals of Public Speaking
    • Techniques for effective public speaking.
    • Building confidence and overcoming stage fright.

Unit 2: Mock Trials and Courtroom Roles

  • Trial Procedures and Courtroom Etiquette
    • Understanding trial structure and courtroom roles.
    • Learning courtroom etiquette and decorum.
  • Preparation for Mock Trials
    • Researching legal cases and trial scenarios.
    • Assigning roles and preparing case materials.
  • Mock Trial Simulations
    • Students simulate a trial, taking on roles of attorneys, witnesses, and judges.
    • Feedback and evaluation of performance.

Unit 3: Debate Techniques and Argumentation

  • Introduction to Debate and Argumentation
    • Basic debate formats and rules.
    • Constructing logical arguments and rebuttals.
  • Research and Evidence Gathering
    • Techniques for effective research.
    • Using evidence to support arguments in debates.
  • Formal Debate Competitions
    • Students participate in formal debates on various topics.
    • Assessment of debate skills and teamwork.

Unit 4: Critical Thinking and Legal Reasoning

  • Ethics and Justice
    • Exploring concepts of justice and ethical reasoning.
    • Analyzing real-world legal cases and ethical dilemmas.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
    • Developing skills in critical thinking and problem-solving.
    • Applying these skills to legal scenarios and debates.

Unit 5: Advanced Mock Trials and Debates

  • Advanced Mock Trial Simulations
    • Students participate in advanced mock trial simulations.
    • Applying feedback to improve trial performance.
  • Advanced Debates and Argumentation
    • Students engage in advanced debate topics.
    • Developing advanced rebuttal and argumentation skills.

Expected Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, trial procedures, and debate techniques. They will have developed skills in public speaking, argumentation, and critical thinking, along with hands-on experience through mock trials and debates. This course aims to foster teamwork, encourage a deep understanding of justice and ethics, and prepare students for careers requiring strong communication and analytical skills.

Coming soon.

Coming soon.

Mr. Ricardo Costa

Ricardo holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Utah State University, and his varied background includes financial planning, taxes, graphic design, filmmaking, and acting. His experience in producing videos and films complements his marketing knowledge, enabling him to create compelling content with a focus on education. 

He has served as one of the High School and Middle School Mock Trial coaches at American Heritage School for the past two years, guiding students in public speaking, argumentation, and courtroom procedures. With his background in acting and video production, Ricardo infuses his coaching with energy and creativity, using multimedia tools and theatrical techniques to engage students.