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College’s Legal Society to Hold Mock Trial

October 6, 2015 - The Eastern Florida State College Legal Society will hold its first annual mock trial competition Oct. 29, giving students a chance to practice their skills in a courtroom setting.

The trial will be performed with as much authenticity as possible in the Mock Trial Courtroom in the new Public Safety Institute on the Melbourne Campus.

EFSC Paralegal Program Classroom
Dr. Melissa Secrist instructs paralegal program students in the
Public Safety Institute on Eastern Florida's Melbourne Campus.

The competition is the result of months of preparation in which two teams of students will assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a fictional criminal trial.

Judge Benjamin Garagozlo from the 18th Judicial Circuit will preside over the competition with local attorneys scoring the teams to determine the winner. The attorneys, serving as volunteers, will also coach the students with complex legal issues as they prepare for the competition.

The trial exposes students to the legal system and helps develop their analytical, speaking and legal skills along with their ability to work as a team. It also provides them a unique opportunity to learn from local judges, attorneys and paralegals.

“The trial is another example of EFSC’s growth and improvement of its restructured Paralegal Program,” said Legal Assisting Instructor Dr. Melissa Secrist. “That includes our new Public Safety Institute that has a courtroom, holding cells and a classroom modeled after law school classrooms. We’re also launching a Legal Society, an academic club dedicated to local legal issues and community outreach.”

The event be held Thursday, Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m. in the second floor courtroom of the Public Safety Institute, Bldg. 8, Room 218.

To learn more about EFSC's Paralegal Studies Program visit