Week 10: It Finally Happened: Mock Trial!
Week 10: It Finally Happened: Mock Trial!
As we come to the final week of the 2021 RumbergerKirk Summer Associate Program, we want to congratulate Meghan, Joseph, Elizabeth, Harris, Julie, Andres, Adam and Graham on a job well done. We so enjoyed getting to know this talented group of law students and reading about their experiences over the last ten weeks. The Mock Trial is the culmination of all of the skills presentations and workshops that the students get to put in action. Congratulations to Meghan Kennedy for winning Best Advocate, to Harris Blum and Adam Poe for winning best team, and to Harris Blum on winning the writing competition! Thank you all for a great summer!
Joseph Tracy, Florida State University, Orlando Office
There was a lot to sink our teeth into. We had to prepare both sides of the case—we weren’t going to find out which side we were going to argue until less than 24 hours before! We agreed I would do openings and my partner Andres would do closings. I was going to do my direct/cross of the police officer who responded at the scene and of the party planner the fraternity hired. Andres was going to direct/cross the decedent’s best friend and the treasurer of the fraternity.
Over the course of working on this problem, our strategy evolved a lot. Working both sides really helped me see how each aspect of the problem worked together. The feedback I got from the coaches as well as from Andres was invaluable. I loved it. I still love moot court but this definitely cemented my appreciation for mock trial.
I am so glad I got to be a summer associate at RumbergerKirk. They have prioritized teaching us as many practical skills as possible in ten weeks. I’ve learned so much that could have taken me years to learn otherwise. This has been an awesome experience and I am grateful to have had the opportunity.
Meghan Kennedy, University of Florida, Orlando Office
The Mock Trial brought all of the summer associates together to Orlando for the first time. Our time together felt like we had been working in the same office the entire summer. Conversation flowed and everyone was so down to earth. I had only been around these people for 48 hours and yet saying goodbye wasn’t easy. Andres, Harris, Julie, Elizabeth, Adam, Joe and Graham are truly a special group of young advocates and I am fortunate to have the ability to work alongside them this summer. The same goes for all of the staff and attorneys at RumbergerKirk- everyone has made a lasting impression that I will always carry with me.
The Mock Trial Competition was a blast. Early that morning, I was consumed with nerves and fear that I was underprepared. However, those feelings quickly changed the moment I stepped into the “courtroom.” Surprisingly, arguing objections was my favorite part of the trial. Elizabeth and I wanted to take a clean approach of preparing non-objectionable material and I think that was a beneficial strategy, but we certainly did not hold back when it was our turn to defend our case. I want to give a special shout out to Elizabeth for keeping up the whole time even though this was her very first trial.
Julie Potts, University of Alabama, Birmingham Office
Our team was in the first round of the trial on Monday morning. I was so nervous! Once we got started, though, the nerves basically went away, and I really started to enjoy myself. I didn’t think I’d be able to relax and have fun during the trial, but it was so easy to get caught up in the arguments and objections and start having a good time! One thing I’ve learned from the mock trial experience is that you can spend as much time planning as you want, but something will probably happen to surprise you when the real thing comes. Even though Graham and I had practiced for two weeks and talked about what we thought would happen, the other team (Joe and Andres) made a couple of good arguments that caught me off guard! It was fun to try to think of counterarguments on the spot.
Adam Poe, Stetson University, Tampa Office
This summer was a glimpse into the life of a first-year associate at a big defense firm. This was my first full-time job. It was not always easy. I was tasked with some difficult and important assignments. But through all the assignments, hours and stress, I can honestly say I had a great time this summer. RumbergerKirk puts on an exceptional summer program. My assignments were not just busy work. I was drafting and researching for legitimate issues in ongoing matters. It felt good to be able to contribute to something important. Amongst the assignments were the workshops and practical skill seminars. Plus, the Tampa office hosted a happy hour or social event almost every week. I was able to work hard but also have a lot of fun.
Graham Marcus, Stetson University, Orlando Office
This summer flew by as I was given an opportunity to work on real cases, practice drafting motions, listen to hearings…the list goes on. The ability to obtain exposure to so many different areas of the law has really given me such a unique opportunity insofar as it has granted me insight into the areas which I feel most passionate about and helped me focus my career as an aspiring lawyer. I am grateful for the opportunity and I cannot wait to take that knowledge with me as I head into my last year of law school. Thank you to all the attorneys who have helped make this summer a success.
Andres Chinchilla, University of Miami, Miami Office
Before this mock trial, I was working on preparing for an actual trial. I have been helping Partner Mike Holt with a motion in limine to exclude documents on an asbestos case. After submitting my first draft, we decided to add a second objection on different grounds. Once I finished with this, I moved on to drafting jury instructions for the same case. I had never written jury instructions so it was a challenge getting this together in a short window of time. Even so, I rose to the occasion and got it done. I am looking forward to seeing how the trial turns out!
Elizabeth Pearce, Florida State University, Tallahassee Office
I’ll be honest, the thought of competing in the mock trial made me a bit nervous since the start of the summer. But my mentors in the Tallahassee office have been there every step of the way to make sure I was as prepared as possible. And all of the hard work my partner and I had put in throughout the past two weeks finally paid off on Monday when we got the chance to compete. I am so proud of the both of us for our performance. Meghan won best advocate, and she was so deserving! I’m also really proud of myself because competing in this mock trial was far outside of my comfort zone, yet I managed to do it and was really happy with how my opening and my direct examination went. I also had the best time getting to meet the other summer associates.