Albany Academy for Girls Mock Trial Team Beats Homeschoolers To Win Region III Title
The young women of he Albany Academy for Girls bested dozens of other Capital Region and North Country teams to win the regional competition for the New York State Bar Association’s Mock Trial competition.
The Academy Team faced students from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Consortium in the regional finals last month. Judges score teams on several factors including professionalism in their presentation of a hypothetical case. Tim Service, Academy’s teacher coach, calls the team senior-heavy, which has proven to be an advantage this year.
“The resilience that they all showed during regionals was remarkable. They learned how to be able to win three trials in a row and they hadn’t done that in two years. It was just so impressive,” he said.
Senior Isabelle Camion says the team has grown closer over the years.
“All of us have been a part of this since the beginning of high school. I’ve grown and learned the ins and outs of mock trial with everyone. We’ve been able to form bonds with each other and can teach and guide the lower classmen coming after us.”
The students prepare to try the case for both the prosecution and the defense. Team members take on roles as the attorneys, witnesses, legal researchers, and writers. The local competitions are judged by attorneys and judges at the county level. They feel the same pride of accomplishment as their peers on athletic teams.
“I don’t do a lot of competitive teams at the Academy, but mock trial is the one thing I will give my blood, sweat and tears to,” said Isabelle Camoin, a senior. “I will do anything for those trials!”
NYSBA produced team video
County winners compete in one of eight regions across New York State. Each regional winner moves onto the semifinal round. The top two teams in the semifinals faceoff in the final round to determine a New York State Mock Trial champion.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, regional winners met in Albany for the competition. This year, the semifinals will be held virtually on May 23. The two best teams complete in the finals on May 24.
The NYSBA Mock Trial program celebrates its 40th year of competition this year. There are 400 teams involving 4,000 high school students in the competition.
The program is sponsored by the New York State Bar Association’s Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee. The New York Bar Foundation provides some of the funding.