ULV launches mock trial program
Posted Nov. 30, 2007

Diana Zarate
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne now has a new program offered to all students. The mock trial program is in its first year at the University and plans to be very successful.

Reza Shaeri, the teams head coach is one of the people responsible for starting the program here at ULV. He previously coached the mock trial team at Cal Poly Pomona and due to its success, he wanted to bring it to ULV.

“If the team is successful, it is encouraged to go to other schools,” Shaeri said.
As a result, he sent out emails to professors here and received a few responses in return.

Shaeri believes that it is an important program for a university to have for its students.

More than 500 colleges offer it on their campuses and it just seemed fitting to bring it to the ULV campus.

“I think it is a successful program. ULV is kind of a stand-out since it doesn’t offer it, even though it has a law school,” said Shaeri. “It’s something that provides a lot of opportunities.”

In the program, students work on a case given to them by the American Mock Trial Association at the beginning of the school year. From there, the students must practice their parts as the characters in the fictitious case.

Akeemi Croom, a junior business administration major, likes the hands-on experience students receive and believes it is one of the most beneficial parts of participating.

“It’s as close to the feeling as possible of what it’s like to be a litigator,” Croom said.

The greatest part for her is getting to experience a portion of what it is like to be a lawyer.

So far the team is off to a good start; 13 students are hard at work on the team.

Shannon Matlock is one of the students on the mock trial team and is excited to be participating in the program.

“I did it for several years in high school. It gives me trial practice,” said Matlock, a sophomore political science major.

This is helpful to her, like several other students, since she plans to pursue a career in law.

Shaeri is very optimistic and has a lot of hope in the team their first year here.

“Even though they are young, I think there is no reason they can’t get a spot in nationals,” Shaeri said. “We are going to lay a very good foundation for next year.”

Croom is very excited for everyone participating this year and is looking forward to what the team will do this year.

“I’m excited to see the competition and see if we get ourselves up to par,” Croom said.

Matlock commented on how everyone on the team is different, yet they all work together and there is never a dull moment.

“Everyone is diligent, yet they know how to have fun with it,” Matlock said.

Students of any major or year are encouraged to join the team.

They are still hoping to get more students to participate. If anyone is interested, practices are 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Wilson Library.

Diana Zarate can be reached at dzarate@ulv.edu.

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