On Friday, May 20th, the sun was shining as our freshmen boarded buses to go on the last Law Day of 2011. Instead of going to Law Firms, half of the freshmen went to the Navy Yard and the other half went to the Catholic University of America.
As soon as our students arrived at the Navy Yard they were greeted by Captain Robert A. Sanders, the commanding officer of the base. After the introductions, students departed to see the display Ship Barry and one of the Navy Courtrooms. In the courtroom, students witnessed a mock trial where real lawyers presented arguments to Navy judges. The case involved a woman, Stevens, who suffered from ‘Battered Women’s Syndrome’ and had killed her husband. The lawyer for Stevens argued that due to Battered Women’s Syndrome she killed her husband because she perceived immediate danger. The attorney representing the United States argued against this claim. Despite the guilty verdict, there was a general consensus among students that Stevens should have been found not guilty. After the trial, students had the opportunity to ask the judge, attorneys and clerk of the court room questions.
The other element of the trip to the Navy Yard was a guided tour of Display Ship Barry. Our guide taught our students about etiquette on naval ships, and he explained that ice cream machine never works because it is the least important piece of equipment on the ship. They also learned about sound-powered telephones which enable communication without the use of external power.
At the Catholic University of America, students were greeted by an Admissions officer. They participated in a power point presentation about the school after which, students had the opportunity to partake in a question and answer period. Questions ranged from what sports are available and whether they have ballet classes to what the required GPA is for admittance. On the tour of the campus, students saw everything from classrooms to the library to the campus center. One group even had the opportunity to go into the Basilica. The students’ favorite part of the tour was the dorms. Visiting CUA gave many students their first look at college life.
Whether students had the opportunity to be JAG Lawyers or college students for the day, our final Law Day was a great success!