Attorney Gary C. Lemel and the Fort Mill Middle School Mock Trial Team are heading to the South Carolina State Bar Middle School Mock Trial Competition this weekend in Columbia.

Gary serves as a voluntary attorney coach for the team, which won the Lexington Regional Mock Trial competition. The state competition will take place throughout the day on March 9.

You can read about the team’s past state competition success here.

The South Carolina Bar Law Related Education (LRE) Division sponsors the mock trial program. Public, private and home school students throughout South Carolina at the middle school and high school levels are eligible to compete.

The program helps students to learn more about trial procedure and the legal process in general. Students can develop their listening, speaking, writing, reading and problem analysis skills, according to the Bar.

“[T]he goal of the program is not to win for the sake of winning, but to learn and understand the meaning of good citizenship in a democratic republic through participation in our system of law and justice,” the Bar states. “All who participate in the program are winners in this sense.”

The mock trial competitions involve a fictional case. Students receive a full load of case materials and assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses for both sides.