BPL’s 2018 Mock Trial Program Underway at Central Library

For five weeks nearly 20 teens who love to argue or geek out on justice have listened intently at the Central Library as professional lawyers explained the ins-and-outs of the legal profession.

On Thursday, February 23, the teens learned how to interview their witnesses on the stand. On Thursday, March 1, they’ll gain tips on how to cross-examine a witness. Welcome to the 2018 version of the Birmingham Public Library's Mock Trial Program, which debuted at the Central Library a year ago and was held again last fall at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library.

The free workshops are held in the Central Library’s Teen Zone on Thursdays from 4:00-5:30 p.m. They are designed to introduce students from grades 6-12 in metro Birmingham to the critical thinking and advocacy skills utilized in courtroom trials. The program began on January 25 and will conclude on March 22, 2018, when the students conduct a mock trial at the Jefferson County Courthouse across the street from the Central Library.

During preparation each week, students are learning to play the roles of a judge, defense lawyers and prosecutors, witnesses, and other courtroom roles. At the conclusion of the mock trial, a jury will deliberate and return with a verdict. The Mock Trial Program is a partnership between the Birmingham Public Library, the Northern District of Alabama’s U.S. Public Defender’s Office, and the Birmingham Bar Foundation. For information call Lance Simpson at 205-226-3671 or email him at lmsimpson@bham.lib.al.us.

Here is a description of the last four weeks of the Mock Trial sessions:
Week 6.Witness Examinations-Cross (Thursday, March 1)
Week 7. Closing Arguments and Mock Trial Preparation (Thursday, March 8)
Week 8. Mock Trial Preparation (Thursday, March 15)
Week 9. Mock Trial (Thursday, March 22 at a Jefferson County courtroom)

Visit BPL Flickr to see photographs from previous Mock Trial Programs.