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Birmingham City School Students Stand Out During 1st Annual Mock Law Competition

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Makayla Green, A. H. Parker High School (Tommy Palladino. BCS)

By Sym Posey

The Birmingham Times

Makayla Green and Charisma Knight, from A.H. Parker High School and Tyra Davis of Ramsay High School were among Birmingham City School students recognized during the recent first annual Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the Birmingham Bar Association (BBA) as part of its Students Today | Lawyers Tomorrow project.

Charisma Knight, A.H. Parker High School (Tommy Palladino. BCS)

More than 50 students from Carver, Jackson-Olin, Parker, Ramsay, and Woodlawn High Schools were in the downtown Jefferson County Courthouse for the Competition sponsored by the Birmingham Bar Association (BBA) as part of its Students Today | Lawyers Tomorrow project.

Ramsay finished in first place and Woodlawn second. Green was named Outstanding Attorney of round one of the competition; Davis was also named Outstanding Attorney of round one of the competition and Knight was named an one of the outstanding witnesses.

Marcus Maples, President of the Birmingham Bar Association, an attorney and shareholder at Baker Donelson who initiated the program, said the day was about more than how the schools finished.

Tyra Davis, Ramsay High School (Tommy Palladino. BCS)

“This is about a vision. I want to ensure that the students in Birmingham City Schools have the opportunity to continue to dream,” he said. “There are incredibly talented students in Birmingham City Schools, and the only thing we need to do as a bar association is encourage each of [them] to dream and to dream big. We want to ensure that the bar association is doing its part to make [their] dreams come true. “

Students will also have an opportunity to pursue law at schools that include the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), University of Alabama (UA), Samford University, Auburn University at Montogomery and University of North Alabama.

As a first-generation college student and first- generation law student, Maples hopes the program will encourage more local students and city residents of color to pursue legal careers. He noted that the initiative will also help students build a network of fellow students who dream of becoming lawyers.

“In the state of Alabama less than 8 percent of the attorneys are persons of color. Twenty years from now we want to change that,“ Maples said.