Silberman finds herself in the court room

Smiling+for+the+camera%2C+%0Ajunior+Shira+Silberman+poses+with+other+mock+trial+students+from+across+the+district%2C+including+Lauren+McCoy%2C+Nikitha+Bolla%2C+Evelyn+Chew%2C+and+Kara+Burns.+Mock+trial+has+given+Silberman+the+exposure+to+almost+real+court+cases%2C+in+hopes+of+it+setting+her+up+for+the+future.+

Smiling for the camera, junior Shira Silberman poses with other mock trial students from across the district, including Lauren McCoy, Nikitha Bolla, Evelyn Chew, and Kara Burns. Mock trial has given Silberman the exposure to almost real court cases, in hopes of it setting her up for the future.

Placing her hand on a bible, junior Shira Silberman swears to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Moving to the witness stand, she braces herself for what is to come. 

The star witness, Silberman isn’t in a real courtroom. Instead she’s part of Frisco ISD’s 18-member Mock Trial Team getting ready for the Region 10 competition on Saturday at the Dallas County Courthouse.

It’s shown me that there is a lot more to preparing for cases than I originally anticipated,”

— junior Shira Silberman

The Texas High School Mock Trial Association release a case every year and everyone in the state works on the same case and you have two sides and there’s six witnesses,” Silberman said. “So you go to regionals and advance, everyone competes on the same case and you pick a side to do so this year it is a civil case.”

Silberman is an aspiring law student hoping to gain more knowledge about the law world.

“I decided to join because I really liked the classes I had been taking at the CTE center and I wanted to do something in terms of learning about law and hands on learning,” Silberman said. “I want to go to law school hopefully, and pursue that career. So I get to learn more about it and get more hands-on experience than if I were to just watch a case.”

Exposure to the field has increased Silberman’s awareness of how real cases work. 

“It’s shown me that there is a lot more to preparing for cases than I originally anticipated and that there is a lot of preparation for a case on both parts, attorney and witness,” Silberman said. “I really like the concepts and the different types of law that there is. I also like, in mock trial, that you get a case and you can argue it from any angle you want and can be creative with it.”

Students take on a variety of roles in mock trial ranging including prosecution and defense attorneys with Silberman being subjected to questions from both. 

“Since I’m a witness I have to memorize my fact statement and work with the attorney questioning me on the proper answers and how to say them,” she said. “I hope I’ve been a good witness and helped find out new little things to add to our case because I am not an attorney so I can’t do too much.”

Silberman’s presence on the team has left a favorable impression with at least one teammate. 

“Shira has been an amazing addition to the team this year. Although it is her first year on the competitive team, she is a very talented witness,” team member, sophomore Nikitha Bolla said. “When she’s on stand, she uses strong vocals on stand and never lets the other teams intimidate her. She is an amazing role model to younger witnesses learning how to given testimony, and has been such a positive impact on the team.”

Doing her best to be ready, Silberman is a role model for some of the team’s underclassmen according to her coach.

“Shira is consistently prepared and working on her character,” mock trial coach Ben Ewald said. “That sets an example of the younger members of the team.” 

The mock trial team is like any other team, with a sense of community that brings the competitors closer together. 

She is an amazing role model to younger witnesses learning how to given testimony,”

— sophomore Nikitha Bolla

“Over Thanksgiving we had a potluck where we were supposed to practice,” Sillberman said. “We definitely didn’t practice, but it was bonding and last year they normally met up like once a week at Starbucks to work on the case so I think we’re gonna start doing that hopefully because regionals is [Saturday].”

Even though the competition hasn’t officially started, Silberman encourages those with an interest in law to join mock trial.  

“It really is a great experience, it teaches you so much, even if you just sit there and watch, and the people are so great,” Silberman said. “So you get to meet people that have similar interests to you from all across the district.”