Model Judiciary Program

State Finals Competition - Cooley Law School Courtroom

The goal of the Model Judiciary Program (MJP) is to provide high school students with a better understanding of Michigan's court system by giving them the opportunity to experience that system first hand.

MJP is a year-long project, with preparations and necessary coordination between local attorneys/judges and high schools beginning in the fall. During the first semester, students prepare for mock trial competitions with other Michigan schools. Each team of student attorneys requires the assistance of practicing attorneys who are primarily responsible for the educational process that enables the students to conduct a successful mock trial. Although the students themselves should do the actual preparation with as little first-hand work by the attorney-advisors as possible, a substantial amount of advice and guidance from attorney-advisors is necessary.

The Model Judiciary Program can provide participating students with an excellent learning opportunity. As with most worthwhile projects, however, a successful MJP experience requires careful preparation and substantial attention.

Practical Skills Students Will Learn

  • Preparation for a trial and the procedures involved in conducting a trial.
  • How a law library is organized, how references are arranged and how to secure basic information.
  • Points of objection: what they mean and how to deal with them.
  • How to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a case, including how to stress the stronger points and to minimize or avoid the weaker ones.
  • Oral advocacy and debate.
  • The importance of careful preparation.

Objectives for Participating Students

  • Learning about the judicial processes of the State of Michigan through experience and practice.
  • Experiencing the citizenship roles of attorneys, witnesses, and interested parties.
  • Understanding and appreciating some of the problems of achieving justice with due process of law.
  • Developing an understanding of the law and appreciating the obligations of those responsible for enforcing and interpreting the law.
  • Understanding the obligations of a witness and other roles that citizens fill in our system of justice.
State Youth In Government Office
P.O. Box 65
Quincy, Michigan 49082
Phone: (517) 639-4480 - Contact Us
Fax: (517) 639-3525