The CBA hosted the 2021 L.A.W. Camp virtually over the week of July 12-16. During the camp, high school students were taught about different aspects of the legal profession and participated in a mock trial, helping them to develop critical thinking skills to prepare them for their professional careers. Thirty students attended the camp and 33 attorneys, judges, and law school representatives volunteered to guide the students through the week. The students were introduced to L.A.W. Camp with a welcome from past CBA President and UConn School of Law Assistant Dean for Finance, Administration, and Enrollment Karen DeMeola and CBA President Cecil Thomas.
Over the course of the week-long camp, the students joined Zoom sessions led by CBA members who introduced them to the Connecticut court system; the principals of court proceedings; basic legal concepts; and the roles of lawyers, judges, and juries. They were able to virtually sit in on an arraignment hearing and participate in a follow-up question-and-answer session with Judge Robert M. Spector.
For the second half of the week, the student campers were assigned to small groups to prepare for and engage in a series of mock trials. Prior to each mock trial, each group met to plan how to present their case and strategize their arguments. Judges Tejas Bhatt, Matthew Gordon, and Vernon Oliver and Attorney Carolyn Ikari presided over the mock trials. At the end of the final mock trial, Judge Bhatt congratulated the students on the use of the skills they had developed over the week, telling them, “You all did an amazing job. This requires an immense amount of skill, self-confidence, and hard work.” CBA President Cecil Thomas closed L.A.W. Camp by thanking the students for participating in the camp as well as all those who assisted in making this year’s camp possible.
The CBA has assisted in organizing L.A.W. Camp since 2019. L.A.W. Camp was originally founded in 2011 by Hon. Angela C. Robinson, now of Halloran Sage LLP, and Sung-Ho Hwang of the Law Offices of Sung-Ho Hwang LLC.