Law Day Mock Trial Educates Fort Belvoir Elementary Students
By Lt. Theresa Poindexter, Belvoir Community Hospital Office of the Command Judge Advocate
FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Teaming up to conduct a mock trial for the “big, bad” wolf and three little pigs, a number of legal staff from three organizations partnered May 1 to educate students at Fort Belvoir Elementary about Law Day, the legal process and the legal profession.
Active-duty and civilian attorneys, paralegals and administrative staff from the Joint Army and Navy legal offices of Belvoir Community Hospital, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Office of General Counsel at Defense Health Agency held the mock trial to actively engage children and involve them in the legal process.
The goal of the event was to educate the children about the legal profession, the legal process, and careers in the legal field. Before starting the mock trial, a military and civilian attorney, military and civilian paralegal, and civilian court reporter talked about their jobs and entertained questions from the students. Then it was time for the main event, the trial of Mr. Wolf, based on the story of the Three Little Pigs. The most rewarding part of the event was interacting with the students who were asked to participate in the trial by asking questions of the witnesses. There was a bit of uncertainty in the planning process about how responsive the students would be, but ultimately the students were very enthusiastic about participating and could not wait to get their hands on a pocket Constitution, which was handed out to participants.
“The most rewarding part of the event was interacting with the students, who we asked to participate in the trial by asking questions of the witnesses,” said Army Capt. Regina Wind, Chief of Administrative law at Belvoir Community Hospital.
There was some uncertainty in the planning process about how responsive the students may be during the event, but ultimately, they were very enthusiastic about participating and could not wait to get their hands on pocket constitutions the group handed out, Wind said.
Law Day originated in 1957 as a special day to celebrate the legal system. In the years following, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day by issuing a 1958 proclamation. Congress then passed a joint resolution establishing May 1 as Law Day in 1961. Every president since President Eisenhower has issued a Law Day proclamation.