Elementary Schools Mock Trials (ESMT)

The Elementary School Mock Trials are a free program offered by the Ontario Bar Association. Individual lawyers or teams of lawyers are encouraged to present this program at an elementary school of their choosing. Volunteers who have no preference as to which school they attend will be matched with a school as they become available. The program is presented on two separate days with a time commitment of about 60 minutes on Day 1 and 90 minutes on Day 2.

Prior to Day 1, the teacher will have assigned the various roles of jury, witnesses, lawyers, etc. to their students. On Day 1, the lawyers attend the classroom and provide the students with an overview of the Canadian Criminal Justice System, introduce the fact scenario for the mock trial, and then ‘walk through’ the various duties of the jurors, the witnesses and the lawyers. It is helpful to spend some time with the lawyers to guide them in their preparation for Day 2. About a week later, the lawyers re-attend the classroom to preside over the trial. Ideally, the trial will occur during Law Week, which in 2017 will run from April 17th to 21st. In classes where two lawyers volunteer, one can preside as judge while the other lawyer acts an "advisor" in the event the various participants need some gentle direction during the mock trial. The second lawyer acts as a jury to keep the jury deliberations focused and timely.