Students from local high schools spent most of their spring break last week taking part in Miami STREET LAW's Law Camp, an annual event in which Miami Law students teach teenagers the complexities of the law. The 17 high school students from Coral Gables Senior High School, Hialeah Senior High School and Miami Senior High School, litigated a real case in front of a judge in downtown Miami.
During the three-day camp, STREET Lawyers (Rob Weaver, Rob Collins, Gigi Soliman, Marisol Vilasuso, Jill Schmidt, Miya Patel, Rachael Mitchell, Eric Olson and Annery Pulgar Alfonso) divided the group into two litigation teams. The teenagers were then trained on how to prepare for trial, how to craft opening and closing statements, and how to conduct direct and cross examinations.
"I am very happy we were able to take part in this amazing program," said Pulgar Alfonso, who helped to coach the high school students. "This program gives these students an opportunity to meet and argue in front of federal judges, an experience that is sure to shape their futures."
Over a course of a day, the two litigation teams presented their case in front of Magistrate Judge Patrick White and Judge Paul Huck.
They presented arguments regarding the freedom of the press and the protection of a state interest, as well as the safety and well being of a kidnapped child. The students also had the opportunity to meet Senior Magistrate Judge Peter R. Palermo and Magistrate Judge Robert L. Dubé. The students also visited Judge Huck's, Judge White's and Judge Dubé's chambers.
STREET LAW kicked off at Miami Law in 2001. Since, Miami STREET Lawyers have taught more than 13,575 teenagers about the law. STREET LAW is designed to increase the amount of minorities in the legal profession, which currently stands around 11 percent.