Law and Order: BSM Edition

Kasey Desmond, Staff Writer

As a college prep school, Benilde-St. Margaret’s always encourages students to plan for their future. Many BSM students have done just this by dipping their toes in the pool of the law profession by joining Mock Trial or the Lawyer Club.

New to BSM this year, the Lawyer Club caters to students interested in learning more about the law profession. Founder and senior, Mark Kaske, says he first became interested in law as a child he began reading books on law. “My dad’s friends used to come over all the time and talk about law, which really got me interested in it,” Kaske said.

Like many of the students in Lawyer Club, Kaske aspires to pursue a law career. The founder of the club hopes to one day be a bankruptcy attorney. “I like the business aspect within the law field,” Kaske said.

The group has met roughly every two weeks since the beginning of the school year. Their first speaker, Terrance Moore, attorney and author of Big Force Negotiation: The Eight Skills You Need to Negotiate with Power, spoke on on November 17. “The structure of the club is pretty laid-back. Our main purpose is really to learn about the different types of law and further our interests,” Kaske said.

While the Lawyer Club is establishing itself as a resource for students interested in pursuing the law profession, BSM Mock Trial team is preparing for a rigorously competitive season in court.

Mock Trial is exactly what it sounds like: a simulated court case in which students are assigned roles and compete against other schools. Participants are divided into two teams: the white and red team. Each new member of the team is paired with an experienced mentor for support. The club is advised by Ms. Mary Murray and coached by Wing-Sze Wong Sun, founder of the Wong Sun Law Office in Minneapolis.

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The students involved in Mock Trial hold a true passion for practicing law. “We are completely immersed in the law,” senior team member Libby Grygar said. The team members dedicate six hours each week to team practice and even more time at home. “It extends beyond the classroom, we work at it day and night,” Grygar said.

Last season, the team advanced all the way to sections where they were only four points short of beating Breck, who ended up winning state and competing at nationals. Because their season last year was so successful, the team was given a budget that allowed them to hire acting coaches.

In a mock trial competition, the competitors are scored not only on their execution of the law, but in their ability to become a character in the case. This part of the competition has historically been the weak link of the team’s skill set. With these new resources, the outlook for this season is promising.

Through the break-out Lawyer Club and the revamped Mock Trial, BSM students show interest and potential in the field of law.