Megan Sessin ‘18 Discovers Her Purpose Through LC Mock Trial Experience
When Megan Sessin ’18 was a junior at Lake Catholic, she heard some news that lit a fire under her.
When Megan Sessin ’18 was a junior at Lake Catholic, she heard some news that lit a fire under her. “I found out early in the school year that we wouldn’t be doing mock trial anymore because there wasn’t an advisor. I made it my mission to find one.”
Find one she did. As a student in Erich Schulz’s Honors World History class, she went to work: asking Mr. Schulz for a week or two to take on the task. “I was stubborn and determined,” she says. “Once he agreed, it was kind of like a new start. That first year was rough; but by my senior year we made big strides.”
In fact, during Megan’s senior year, the Lake Catholic mock trial team won the local district competition and advanced to regionals: a first for the team in more than a decade. It’s just one reason Megan has a fondness for the program that runs deep. She had participated in it since her freshman year and knew early on that she wanted to be an attorney. Mock trial gave her the hands-on experience that many high school students don’t get. Today, Megan is studying Criminal Justice with a pre-law concentration at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
“I really enjoyed the competitive nature of mock trial, as well as learning the legal aspects of things. In government classes you get the broad spectrum. With mock trial, it goes more in-depth. You see all sides of the legal system: even the flaws. That really prepared me for college. I’m already taking criminal justice classes and just today we were reviewing a case that I was familiar with because of mock trial.”
In addition to the knowledge Megan gained through mock trial, the program also helped foster skills that often can’t be taught: confidence, compassion and understanding. “It was hard my freshman year to stand in the courtroom and not be shaking. It made me really nervous. Four years with mock trial helped me learn to speak up and speak out. Even if I disagree with someone, I know they’ll understand where I’m coming from. I can have more educated conversations with people because of mock trial.”
This year, the success of the mock trial program has led to the creation of its own elective course at Lake Catholic, and Megan couldn’t be prouder. “I was thrilled to hear that they were making it a class. It’s a little bit of my legacy. I still text and talk to students and Mr. Schulz. I’ve gone back to visit the class when I can. It gives me a sense of euphoria and nostalgia to know that mock trial is evolving and getting stronger.”