DC students inspire future students at Mock Trial Competition

Each year, Durham College supports the York Region Secondary School Mock Trial Competition held at the Newmarket Courthouse. 24 high schools compete by conducing mock trials before Judges in the Superior Court of Justice.

This year, Stephanie Ball, executive dean of the School of Justice & Emergency Services and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, joined the coordinating committee comprised of the Chief Justice of Ontario, the Crown Attorney for York Region, Senior Regional Chief Justice of Ontario, and York Region Deputy Chief of Police. 

Durham College (DC) students from the Paralegal program were thanked by Ball for inspiring high school students as she opened the ceremonies. In her speech, she shared the stories of how students often pursue a career in the field of justice because of these mock trials.

Current DC student Andrew Keeping participated in the competition when he was in high school and credits the experience with leading him to DC and the Paralegal program.

“I would say that my experience with the mock trial was incredibly educational and beneficial in many ways. The most apparent way was that I benefited from the competitive nature of the event and I really enjoyed interacting with real legal professionals and real judges, in a real courtroom.  You can’t get more real than that,” said Keeping.

Tasif Chowdhury, also a DC Paralegal student was unsure as a high school student if pursuing an education in law was the right option for him, the mock trial helped convince him it was the correct choice.

“When I decided to join the Mock Trial team in high school I was unsure of how much I really enjoyed law. But, after having worked with lawyers to prepare for the trial and having the experience of being in a court room, I ended up changing my mind. Being involved with the mock trial was actually fun, and only confirmed my interest in pursuing a career within the legal field.  Now at Durham College, I continue to gain all of the skills needed to succeed. There is nothing more empowering than the knowledge I have gained in this program and looking back I now know I made the right choice,” said Chowdhury.

The mock trials were created to help high school students develop their interest in the legal field while exposing them to a fully integrated, hands-on experience. DC supported the event administratively through Professor Burger, a lawyer teaching in the paralegal program, and Nicole Davidson, Student Recruitment and Admission Services.

DC’s Paralegal program is accredited by The Law Society of Upper Canada (Law Society), the regulatory body governing professional paralegals in the province. The program prepares students for the Law Society’s paralegal licensing examination, enabling them to provide legal services within authorized areas of law practice and represent clients before Small Claims Court, Criminal Court (summary convictions), Provincial Offences Court and government tribunals.