SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Hinsdale Central High School, in Hinsdale, placed first in the 27th annual Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) High School Mock Trial Invitational held at the University of Illinois at Springfield on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21, 2009. The Hinsdale team also had the highest team average on the Written Law Exam and one of their students, Biren Bhansali, achieved a perfect score on the test.
Glenbard East High School, in Lombard and Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn tied for second, and Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights placed third. Teams from 46 Illinois high schools traveled to Springfield to participate in the program.
Hinsdale Central High School will represent the state of Illinois at the National High School Mock Trial Championship which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 6-10, 2009.
“The mock trial program is a rare opportunity for Illinois high school students to compete in a high-level academic endeavor,” says Judge John Coady, chair of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Law-Related Education for the Public, which conducts the program.
Each 10-member team tries both sides – plaintiff and defense – of a case developed by the ISBA Standing Committee on Law-Related Education for the Public. This year’s case involved one of Abraham Lincoln’s most well-known murder trials, the so-called Almanac Trial, in which Lincoln used a Farmer’s Almanac to discredit the witness. The students needed to use all the facts available to prove the guilt or innocence of the defendant on those facts, without the use of an Almanac.
The high school mock trials have been conducted each year since 1982 by the Illinois State Bar Association to provide Illinois high school students an interesting and challenging way to gain insight into the American judicial system.
The 35,000 member ISBA, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois member attorneys, and education to the public.