The SGS “Law School” Intensive: Experiencing our Justice System Firsthand

Social/Global studies teacher, Wendy Ewbank, explains the purpose and experience of the 7th grade Mock Trial.
7th Grade Social Studies centers around an essential question: How has the United States both lived up to and fallen short of its founding ideals?  Students have been studying the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and beginning to learn ways that constitutional rights have been shaped and challenged over time. This unit culminates in the annual 7th grade Mock Trial at the Children and Family Justice Center.

For this event, each 7th grade student took on the role of a lawyer or a witness and experienced “Law School'' from December 4 – 14th. Several volunteer attorneys generously shared their time and expertise, as did SGS alum and Franklin High School Mock Trial Co-captain Gabi Robbins! One skill emphasized in the 7th grade curriculum is the ability to see multiple perspectives on a topic. Preparing a legal case necessitates really understanding both sides of the dispute. Another goal is to increase students’ awareness by providing a hands-on experience of our justice system in an actual courtroom setting with real life judges. Students gained confidence and poise in a true “stand and deliver” performance at Thursday’s culmination. Two casts of lawyers and witnesses presented the same case where our presiding judges (Nelson Lee and Janet Helson of King County Superior Court). Special thanks to our community partner Judge Nicole Phelps (also King County Superior Court and SGS annual Grace Hopper Award winner in 2019) for once again making this event possible! 
Located in the Central District, Seattle Girls' School is an independent school for girls and gender nonconforming students in grades 5-8. Our mission is to inspire and develop courageous leaders who think independently, work collaboratively, learn joyfully, and champion change.