Freshman Luke Wallace makes mock trial history


Alexis Perry, Assistant Website Editor

And all the way from South Carolina… Luke Wallace.

Everyone around stood up and began to cheer wildly, they cheered for their friend that had made Wando history.

Freshman Luke Wallace won 11th best Attorney at Empire for Mock Trial, a title at the annual New York event in December, making him one of the best competitors in an international competition.

It also made him the first freshman to win such a monumental award for Mock Trial.

“Winning the award meant so much to me because it is my first year at Wando and my first year doing high school Mock Trial so it just gave me a lot of encouragement to keep going,” Wallace said.

Winning this award took perseverance. Students from all over the country and the world came to New York to compete for a place at Empire. This work ethic is not only seen in his performance, it can also be seen in the time dedicated to preparing for competitions.

“We practiced from four to six every day for, I think, four months. It was a lot of work, and then we did weekend practice and everything,” Wallace said. “We spent a lot of time together and really worked hard for it I think. And I think we did pretty well this year.”

In Mock Trial competitions, the group members are given a fake law case with eight witnesses and an intricate storyline. The participants have to build up evidence and present it like a lawyer would in a real life court hearing. At Empire Mock Trial, everyone is given the same storyline to uncover and dissect. What they present is judged on a scale of 1-10 and that scores decides how high a participant will place.

In Mock Trial one learns about law and develops skills that could help the them in the future, but for Wallace, it was also a place of friendship.

“I think Mock Trial is just a great way to meet new friends and hang out with people every day, and for me it has done that purpose,” Wallace said, “but I know a lot of people that are curious about law, and Mock Trial gives them a great career line, a great start point,”

Most students who join Mock Trial join in high school, but Wallace has been competing since middle school before winning his national award.
“My brothers were always talking about how Mock Trial is the best, [my brother Ben] actually started Mock Trial in middle school and told me that it was a lot of fun and that I would enjoy it, so I just started it in Middle School, and I haven’t stopped since,” Wallace said.

This constant in his life has remained a wonderful place for friendship.

“In middle school we would go to tournaments in Columbia,” he said. “I’d have a great time just hanging out with some of my friends. They are friends I’ve kept with me for a long time now.

“At Wando I go to know people who are upperclassmen to me, I got to be on a Mock Trial team again,” he added. “So Mock Trial is just full of friends, it’s just really fun.”