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HAHIRA – Valwood students Thomas Griner and Hannah Ward will travel to Atlanta in early October to attend an intensive, four-day law academy conducted by the State Bar of Georgia.
Griner, a junior, is entering his third year as a member of the Valwood Mock Trial team, school officials said in a statement. Ward, a sophomore, will be entering her second season.
“Thomas and Hannah were significant parts of our team’s success as region champions and state finalists last year,” said Daryn Beasley, Valwood mock trial coach. “Thomas brought invaluable experience from the previous year’s state finals appearance as well.”
Griner focused his attention in the previous seasons on playing the role of attorney, while Ward portrayed a witness to the crime in question in last year’s competition.
“Hannah was the first freshman in a competing role for our team in many years,” Beasley said.
The Law Academy is designed to provide opportunities to high school mock trial students to enhance their skills in the fields of team building, leadership, trial technique and procedure, rules of evidence and witness presentation.
A private tour of the Georgia Court of Appeals, the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Supreme Court is also a part of the program.
At the end of the sessions, students will take an exam that will potentially qualify them for admission into the Student Bar of Georgia, school officials said.
Griner and Ward are among only 45 applicants in the state accepted into the illustrious program. This is the first time that Valwood has been represented by two students but they do carry on a tradition of Valwood mock trial players attending the Law Academy each year.
“I am incredibly proud of Thomas and Hannah and their ambitions,” Beasley said. “The opportunities and experiences of the Georgia State Bar Law Academy will set these students up to go far above and beyond in their understanding of our legal system.”