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Teens Tackle First Amendment Case in Moot Court Contest

January 27, 2011

Students from eight Philadelphia high schools will gather at the law school on Jan. 29 to compete in the regional Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy High School Moot Court Competition.

The students will represent both sides in a fictitious case involving a female high school student who was suspended for wearing a tuxedo to class.
The contest will test the teens’ mastery of legal principles and oral advocacy skills.

All of the contestants have spent time learning about the U.S. Constitution from 31 Earle Mack School of Law students who have taught classes at Edward W. Bok Technical High School, Constitution High School, Creative and Performing Arts High School, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, Mastery Charter High School, Mathematics, Civics and Science Charter School, the Science Leadership Academy and South Philadelphia High School.

“The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project gives urban teens an understanding and a positive view of the legal system, which is a wonderful outcome all by itself,” said Professor Gwen Stern, director of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project and the Trial Advocacy Program. “But the competition – and the coaching our law students provide leading up to it – really seals the deal. It’s wonderful to see some of these young people begin to envision careers in the legal profession.”

The final round of competition will be judged by the Hon. Glynnis Hill and the Hon. Renee Cardwell Hughes of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Winners from the competition will advance to the Third Annual National Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Moot Court Competition, which the law school will host on April 2-3.

The national competition will include winners from local competitions in Baton Rouge, La., Boston, Mass., Camden, N.J., Louisville, Ky., New Haven, Conn., Tempe, Ariz. and Washington, D.C.