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MVA Associates & Citizen Schools Provide Students with Live Courtroom Experience

May 2011

Eastway Middle School students had an opportunity to practice law for a day as part of Citizen Schools’ Mock Trial WOW! program, which culminated in a mock jury trial at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse on May 11.  Three Moore & Van Allen Charlotte attorneys—Stacey Vandiford and John Gilson—spent 10 weeks coaching the middle school students in preparation for the trial, and also led the efforts at the trial.  District Court Judge Rickye McKoy-Mitchell presided. 

Vandiford and Gilson, associates within MVA’s Financial Services group, taught the students principal courtroom skills prior to the mock trial.  During the 10 weeks of class time, students learned about direct and cross examinations, opening statements and closing arguments.  Vandiford and Gilson worked to mix essential elements of being a lawyer, particularly vocabulary and legal reasoning, in with fun games, such as Bingo and Jeopardy. 

Moore & Van Allen hosted Citizen Schools' first mock trial in Charlotte in 2009.  More information on Citizen Schools North Carolina can be found here.