Nick McWilliams reporting – The Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas is welcoming in high school students today as a celebration of Law Day.
Today, along with February 7th, a group of students from local school districts will sit in on various proceedings, and ask questions of court staff, attorneys, and more.
General Trial Division Court Administrator Elizabeth Stephenson says that it provides an up-close look for learning minds about how the criminal justice system works outside of television and books.
“Our attempt is always to try and get them to see any sort of live court, but the thing we’ve honed on is criminal hearings, and it’s usually a sentencing or two sentences from two different cases that they get to watch.”
Stephenson says that the event can inspire the next generation of lawyers, clerks, staffers, and even judges.
“I know for one of my kids, he came to Law Day and that night said, ‘I want to be a judge.’ And he’s actually in law school now. But it’s not just being a judge or being a lawyer. We’ve got interpreters, court reporters, administrative assistants, bailiffs, probation officers — it’s an attempt at showing them, obviously, consequences of bad behavior, but also careers in and about the justice system.”
Stephenson says that the court tries to recruit students from all area districts, but are limited due to the size of the courtrooms.
Typically, the court will open its doors for high schoolers on multiple occasions.
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