“We the People” Simulated Congressional Hearings
Towards the end of every school year, Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson, along with prosecutors and other staff, participate as judges in the Howard County Public School System’s annual elementary school social studies program, “We the People” Simulated Congressional Hearings. The hearings are the capstone for the fifth-grade social studies curriculum in which students study American historical, political and constitutional issues. During the mock hearings, students testify, as expert witnesses, to demonstrate their understanding of the United States Constitution and The Bill of Rights. Students are judged by a panel comprised of public officials, community representatives, constitutional scholars, parents, and state and local curriculum experts who sit as a congressional committee holding public hearings within each participating school.
Mock Trial Program
Every year, more than 150 Maryland high schools from 20 Maryland jurisdictions register to compete in the MYLaw High School Mock Trial Competition. Volunteer attorneys and judges preside over more than 400 enactments each year. Two to three thousand Maryland youth learn about the law, our courts, and critical life skills that prepare them for their futures. Acting as attorneys and witnesses in either a civil or criminal trial, students portray defense or plaintiff/prosecution and are scored on their performances by volunteer judges. The weeks- long competition involves several trials from January through March. The high school with the best record at the conclusion of the competition then advances to the regional competition, and then often to the statewide competition.
Many of the attorneys from our office volunteer their time to help coordinate the competition, mentor and assist the students in preparation for the competition, assist as scorekeepers and preside over the trials as judges. State’s Attorney Richard Gibson presided over mock trials during the 2021-2022 competition season as well as Deputy State’s Attorney Josh Felsen and other Assistant State’s Attorneys including Jennifer Ritter, Maurice Frazier, Bradley Bloodworth, Katherine Bagley, Natasha Blount and Natasha Byus. (Header image: Mock Trial Program in 2019)
Guest Speakers in Our Community
Representatives from the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office are delighted to speak to your school, community association or organization. Please fill out the form below to arrange for a speaker to attend your upcoming event:
Request a Speaker