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Highlighting Alumni of Civic and Law-Related Education Programs

The Florida High School Moot Court program is an opportunity for students to engage in the appellate processes of the courts, taking on the demanding and exciting task of writing briefs and presenting oral argument for the issue on appeal from the Florida High School Mock Trial program. Since its creation, hundreds of students have written and submitted briefs for evaluation by attorneys and judges throughout the State of Florida. The teams of two students writing the top briefs are then invited to present oral argument at their local District Court of Appeal. Teams from all 5 of Florida’s District Courts of Appeal participate in the process, with judges from each respective judicial district serving on panels in the local rounds of competition. Those presenting at the highest level at the district competitions are then invited to the Moot Court State Finals, hosted at the First District Court of Appeal, the Florida State University College of Law, and, for the best petitioner and respondent teams, at the Florida Supreme Court.

Moot Court Oral Argument

FLREA is honored to host a group of impressive young women and men annually to present oral argument before the Florida Supreme Court. These students perform at the highest level of academic rigor, fielding questions from judges and justices alike with poise, reasoning, and confidence unparalleled by their peers and elders alike. Over the years FLREA has encountered students and teachers who have formed bonds and forged successful futures. Among those students is practicing Attorney Genevieve Bonan, Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General. Ms. Bonan argued in the 2005 Florida High School Moot Court competition before the Florida Supreme Court. Then Chief Justice Barbara Pariente was instrumental in the development of this program and left a lasting impression on this young woman, paving a path to a career in law.

Geevieve Bonan

Back in 2005, I had the incredible opportunity to argue before then-Chief Justice Barbara Pariente and the Florida Supreme Court through the Florida Law Related Education Association high school moot court competition. My school, Dr. Michael Krop Sr. High in Miami, was fortunate enough to offer law-related education courses. Encouraged and guided by our amazing teacher, Connie Higgins, my team and I (it’s worth noting that I was the sole female) drafted and submitted an appellate brief for the competition. Our brief was one of four chosen that year to be presented to the entire Court. I was so inspired by every facet of the program: the grandeur of the Court and its justices, the challenge of oral argument, seeing younger students visiting the Court for Law Day, and so much more. The experience was so influential, thanks in large part to Justice Pariente, my teacher, and Annette Pitts, Executive Director; I can honestly say that it served as the impetus behind my going on to study law and serve the public as an Assistant Attorney General. It is one of the most, if not the most, formative of my experiences that set me on the career path I have been so privileged to earn.

Since its creation, FLREA has had the privilege to interact with students throughout Florida who have benefited from the programs offered and created successful and bright futures from the various skills gained in engaging in these opportunities. From careers in the legal field to the medical field to public service, FLREA considers it an honor to work with such motivated students and encouraging educators throughout the State of Florida.

For more information about this program and other programs offered by The Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc., as well as alumni experiences, please contact staff@flrea.org or browse our website.