Last month, we organized a volunteer group to help out with the Youth Law Fair—a free, full-day, event that brings hundreds of high school students, lawyers, judges, and educators together to explore issues facing students in the DC area. Organized by D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Bar, it offers students the opportunity to participate in mock trials playing the roles of prosecutors, defense attorneys, witnesses, judges, and jurors. The Youth Law Fair also offers speak-out sessions on racial profiling and building positive relationships with law enforcement, courthouse and holding cell tours led by judges and attorneys, and the chance to learn more about law-related careers.
This year’s Youth Law Fair was titled Profiling: That’s Not Me! What’s The problem? and tackled the issues of racial profiling and police brutality. Our volunteers worked with a group of students assigned to the courtroom of Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo. We were joined by Officer Leo, a teacher turned policeman; Officer Leo played role of a police officer in the mock trial and afterwards spoke to the students about police work and the relationship between police and the public.
For those scoring at home, the jurors rendered a split verdict.