Fifth-grade Students Hold Mock Trial and Tour Pawnee County Courthouse

Fifth-grade Students Hold Mock Trial and Tour Pawnee County Courthouse

Pawnee County Court officials, including Judge Rick Smith, Clerk Magistrate LaRita Weber and Assistant Clerk Julie Kuhl, hosted Law Day for fifth-grade students from Pawnee City, Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer (HTRS) and Lewiston Schools on Friday, April 19, 2024. The team was supported by Attorney Diane Merwin, Sheriff Braden Lang, Pawnee County Attorney Emily Sisco, and students from St. Andrew Catholic School and HTRS.

This year’s event commenced with a welcoming address by Judge Smith, followed by an impromptu dramatization performed by the students. The highlight of the day was a Mock Trial involving the fifth-grade students as attorneys, witnesses, and jurors, with the Pawnee County Court team fielding questions from participants. The event concluded at the County Court office, where the students were given a glimpse of court records dating back to the mid 1800s and learned about the evolution of technology in record-keeping. The importance of good citizenship was emphasized as each student was given a red, white and blue star cookie for being “Star 5th Grade Students”.

Law Day was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 as a national dedication to the principles of government under the law. In 1961, Congress designated May 1st as the official date to celebrate Law Day. In Nebraska, Law Day Job Shadowing is an annual educational and collaborative program organized by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court. 

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To participate in the program and host local 5th graders in your court or area through the Job Shadow program, contact Janet Bancroft.