The after-school club, which is made up of students who want to learn more about the law, won a citywide competition in which they argued a stop-and-frisk case.
Teams appear before three judges and answer a barrage of questions regarding their case. They had to support their arguments based on law precedents and public policy.
Teacher Bill Kahn is the head of the Brooklyn Tech team. He has so much experience with the competitions that he spends time helping other schools set up their own teams.
“It’s a chance for [students] to exercise their mental muscles, respond and think on their feet rapidly,” he said. “At any given moment, surprises will come your way.”
This is the third time Brooklyn Tech has taken home the championship since the program began in 2006. Kahn said the win comes from the dedication of the students.
“It says something that we have six kids who show up on a Sunday morning in downtown Manhattan for three hours for no credit,” he said. “It says a lot about them and their desire to learn and understand legal concepts involved.”
Attorneys from the law firm of Cahill, Gordon & Reindel donate their time to help the students.
“I also chalk it up to excellent volunteer attorneys,” Kahn said.
Mary Cao, 17, said that she wasn’t all that nervous during the competition.
“I don’t think it was that nerve-racking because we do a lot of practice,” she said, adding that the preparation is tougher. “Practice is more intimidating.”
Cao said that her involvement with the team will pay off one day.
“It’s worth it in the long run because I’m honing my public speaking skills,” she said.