Friday, October 9, 2009
Above the Law reported earlier this week that the University of North Carolina School of Law conducted a mock trial exercise in the virtual environment known as Second Life. The UNC website reports that:
'Just like a regular mock trial, they will put witnesses on in front of a jury, follow rules of evidence, conduct examinations and present opening and closing arguments to jury,' says assistant professor Richard Myers, who coordinates mock court programs at the school and will serve as a judge for the Second Life mock trial. 'The difference is that it will all be done in a computer-based simulated environment.'
Is this a high tech gimmick or does it instead have tangible advantages over a reality based trial exercise in terms of student learning? One UNC student had this to say to ATL:
You have got to be kidding me. Here’s an idea: do one in real life! Everyone will be sitting at a computer at the same time anyway - why not just have them all sit in the same room, say the UNC mock court room that was built specifically for this purpose, and actually do it in person? I’m not planning on being a litigator, but from all those episodes of Boston Legal I’ve watched I’m pretty sure that speaking is a pretty significant part of the litigation process.
What good could possibly come from this? Learning how to type out pre-prepared questions without being distracted by the naked half raccoon man that inevitably will show up and streak across the courtroom?
I am the scholarship dude.