By Cali Cope-Kasten '11, For Macalester Now

Ripon, Wisconsin
Political Science
After Mac: University of Michigan Law School

I can’t tell you how many times judges at mock trial tournaments have said to my team, “You guys are better at this than the real attorneys I deal with!” I think it speaks to something special about our mock trial program, which has gained a reputation as an annual contender at the national tournament. Over the last four years, competing on the team has helped me prepare for a future in law. I’ve learned about courtroom procedure, rules of evidence, and preparing materials for trial.

"Our mock trial program has gained a reputation as an annual contender at the national tournament."

Macalester has a legal studies program that brings in speakers on current legal topics and careers related to law. Recently, Jeffrey Toobin, CNN legal analyst and author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, spoke on campus and I was part of a group of students who had lunch with him to discuss current issues before the Supreme Court. The program also hosts panels of law school admissions directors to answer questions about law school, which made me feel much more confident about applying.

In addition to traditional constitutional law courses, Mac also has classes with a broader approach. For example, one of the Russian studies classes looks at law in A Clockwork Orange and Crime and Punishment. In sociology courses, I’ve been pushed to think about questions like, “Why do people follow the law?” and “How do societies use prisons and crime statistics to perpetuate socioeconomic and racial prejudices?” I’m definitely glad I chose to come to Mac and take advantage of these opportunities.

January 31 2012

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