PWCS moot court teams

Standing before five justices at the Virginia Supreme Court, four Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) student moot court teams from C.D. Hylton, Gainesville, and Patriot High Schools argued their appeals case as part of the state-level moot court competition.

This year, three out of the four moot court teams won their rounds. Jordyn Nesbit, a junior from Gainesville High, won the entire competition. This marks the second year that PWCS has won the event.

“I was shocked when my name was announced,” said Nesbit. “I want to thank my sponsors [Jeff Bergman and Kara Sidener] for all [they’ve] done for the law club and for me,” he said. “I just really want to thank them for giving me and the law club students a space where we can really get insight into the legal system.”

Nesbit, who plans to pursue a career in law as a trial attorney, added, “This competition really confirmed for me that this was what I was meant to do.”

“A moot court is an appellate style competition,” said Randi Warren, social studies teacher and law club sponsor at Patriot High. “At this level, there are no witnesses or evidence. It is just the lawyers arguing the case before a panel of judges to persuade them if the lower court's ruling was correct or show be overturned.”

Students are presented with a trial court scenario in which they must thoroughly understand the facts and evidence of the case. Additionally, they need to grasp the legal case law relevant to the court case, enabling them to apply those legal standards while making persuasive arguments during their appeal to the judges.

“This competition is a great opportunity for our students even if they do not wish to pursue a career in law,” said Warren. “At its core, the moot court is an excellent exercise in critical thinking skills, mastery of complex material, and synthesizing information in a clear, understandable manner.”