Law Day Job Shadowing is celebrated annually around the state of Nebraska. Groups of fifth graders spend an hour or more with lawyers, judges, court clerks, court reporters or other professionals, including law enforcement officials. The fifth graders typically visit government offices or the local courthouse and do activities such as a mock trial.
The Nebraska State Bar Foundation debuted four new mock trial scripts this year including a criminal cases against Harry Potter and Superman. The mock trial scripts are written so that several students can participate whether as judge, a witness, lawyer or clerk. Students who are not portraying roles are members of the jury.
Harry Potter received a verdict of not guilty following his murder trial of Professor Quirrel in Aurora, Nebraska on Law Day. Hampton Public School 5th graders took on the roles led by District Judge Rachel Daugherty. After the trial ended Daugherty asked if there were any questions, one student immediately raised his hand and asked, “Can we do another one?”
In Webster County, students were trying the case of Superman, who was charged with trespassing at a warehouse, resulting in over one thousand dollars of damage. This case resulted in a hung jury with two jurors believing him innocent and one believing him guilty. Judge Michael P. Burns gave instruction throughout the trial to the students.
In addition to the abovementioned scripts, the NSBF also has scripts centered around Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Luke Skywalk. The Bar Foundation is looking forward to more students using the new scripts to learn more about our justice system.