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Wed, July 08

Williams Law Day to feature student mock trials May 8

Williams High School students prepare for their mock trial at last year's Law Day event. Submitted photo

Williams High School students prepare for their mock trial at last year's Law Day event. Submitted photo

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Community members are invited to see the legal system in action at Williams' second annual Law Day event tomorrow.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Williams Justice and Municipal Court, 700 W. Railroad Ave.

Law Day will feature mock trials prepared by local high school students and several vendors, including law enforcement agencies and nonprofit groups.

Williams Magistrate Rob Krombeen said he hopes attendees will gain "a better understanding of the courts and the crucial role that courts play in our freedoms and in the impartation of justice."

Former President Dwight Eisenhower established May 1 as Law Day in 1958 as "a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law." The theme for this year's event is "No courts, No justice, No freedom."

Courts across the nation celebrate Law Day, with Williams officials setting the date each May depending on when they can get the most participation. Coconino County Supervisor Matt Ryan and Williams Mayor John Moore will be on hand on May 8 to proclaim the day as Law Day.

The main event at Williams' Law Day is the mock trials. Williams High School history teacher Heather Walker is preparing each of her classes to participate in a trial. Attorneys from Flagstaff are donating their time to help the students plan their cases.

"The kids play all the parts," Krombeen said. "The attorneys coach them but don't actually do the arguments and pleadings and that type of thing."

Last year middle school students participated in the mock trials as well, but this year organizers will focus on the high school students so the attorneys will have more time to prepare with the older students.

Krombeen hopes the mock trial experience could introduce the students to the possibility of a career in the legal system. He added that middle school students and community members are still encouraged to attend.

"We have an emphasis with our student population but it's open to the public and we're hoping to see even more general public involvement this year," Krombeen said.

The other portion of Law Day, the law enforcement and nonprofit group involvement, is expanding this year. Participating vendors include the Department of Public Safety, the Williams Police Department, the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Victim Witness Services, Citizens Against Substance Abuse and legal aid groups.

More information about Law Day is available from the court at (928) 679-7698.

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