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Mock trial gives students hands-on court experience
Capt. Clayton Fuller, chief of justice at the Maxwell legal office, speaks to middle school students on Law Day May 1 at the Judge Advocate General's School on Maxwell. Fuller helped educate the students in a 13-week course about the judicial system. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Blankenship)
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Mock trial gives students hands-on court experience

Posted 5/11/2012   Updated 5/11/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class William J. Blankenship
Air University Public Affairs

5/11/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The 42nd Air Base Wing, along with a class from Maxwell's Elementary Middle School, presented a theatrical production for Law Day May 1 at the Judge Advocate General's School.

The 42nd ABW legal office assisted in teaching the law-related education course to Deborah Drozdowski's eighth grade American history class at the base school. The Law Day production consists of a culmination of the concepts the students learned during the course.

Students performed a mock trial based on a blend of "Jack and the Beanstalk" and the Trayvon Martin case, showcasing what they learned.

"I learned more being able to physically go through the entire trial process rather than only being told how it works," said Jocelyn Davis, a student from Drozdowski's class.

During the weeks before the theatrical performance, as a part of the curriculum, Capt. Clayton Fuller, chief of justice at the Maxwell legal office, went to the school to discuss the importance of the judicial system with the students.

"It is a 13-week course that I started doing with kids while I was in law school," he said. "You can never start learning about the judicial system too early."

The course teaches students the basic rights they have through the U.S. Constitution, Fuller explained. "They receive an introduction to the judicial system and how the court room works."

"Anytime there is a hands on situation it is going to be better for the kids, " said Drozdowski. "Captain Fuller came to the classroom often and wanted the students to learn to be participants in their society."

President Dwight Eisenhower established the first Law Day in 1958. In 1961, Congress designated May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day. Every president since then has issued a Law Day proclamation May 1 to celebrate the nation's commitment to the rule of law.

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