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High School Students ‘On Trial’: Legal Experience is an Educational One!

Several area high school students will be “on trial” at the Lycoming County Courthouse on Feb. 18 and 25. However, this legal experience is an educational one!

The students are competing in mock trials sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. Each year, the association sponsors a statewide mock-trial event, featuring high school students competing in simulated jury trials.

S. Layne Russell, an attorney and assistant professor at Pennsylvania College of Technology, is serving as coordinator of the local contests the Region 4, District Two Competitions. Russell says the mock-trial experience gives students a better understanding of the legal profession, as well as the judicial system.

District Two includes high schools in Potter, Tioga, Bradford, Sullivan, Lycoming, Clinton, Centre, Union, Montour, Columbia, Snyder and Northumberland counties. This year, four Lycoming County schools are participating: Jersey Shore Area Senior High School, Loyalsock Township High School, Montoursville High School and Williamsport Area High School. Other high schools include: Lock Haven, Bald Eagle Area, Bellefonte Area , Milton Area , Northeast Bradford and State College Area.

Legal assistant/paralegal students at Penn College, who participate in the College’s own mock-trial program, will serve as jurors for the high school competition.

The schedule for the competitions on Thursday, Feb. 18 and 25 are as follows:

Feb. 18: Courtroom #1, Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas 9 a.m., Jersey Shore vs, Northeast Bradford; 1:30 p.m., Williamsport vs. Loyalsock Township; 3 p.m., Montoursville vs. State College Area.

Feb. 25: Courtroom #2, Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas 9 a.m., Northeast Bradford vs. Lock Haven; 1:30 p.m., Bellefonte vs. Milton; 3 p.m., Bald Eagle vs. Jersey Shore.

For further information, contact Russell at (570) 326-3761, ext. 2730.

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