Students participate in Law Day in Great Falls

Posted at 3:05 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:10:20-04

GREAT FALLS – Students from across Cascade County participated in the 60th anniversary of Law Day.

In February of 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day by issuing a Law Day Proclamation. This year’s theme is “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.”

“We are educating the students who are just starting to learn this in school so they can understand what the separation of powers means and who is able to do what,” said Tyler Smith, Cascade County Bar Association Executive Committee member.

The Cascade County Bar Association and judges in Cascade County presented at 30 location across the county for the day.

“I am also excited because I believe it is the first year ever that we are going to be making a visit to the Great Falls Senior Center. It is an outreach event designed to help the average citizen understand our legal system,” Judge John Parker said.

On Tuesday morning 50 students from Mountain View Elementary School were able to visit the Cascade County Courthouse to experience what takes place in the courthouse.

The students took a tour of the facility and then participated in a mock trial in Judge John Parker’s courtroom. They had to decide if Harry Potter was guilty of turning Draco Malfoy into a ferret.

Organizers picked 12 students to act as the jury and other students filled the roles of the prosecutor, defense, and witnesses.

“I think when the students are being the jurors, being the attorneys and watching their fellow students take part, it is a very memorable experience,” Parker said.

Smith says it is important for these students to learn about the law at a young age so they can understand the system better.

“It is a really complicated system that really a lot of people do not understand. It is our jobs as attorneys and judges to help the everyday citizen to understand what their legal rights are,” Smith said.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News