The Law and Criminal Justice Academy at Creekview HS continued its success by earning multiple honors this school year. Students in the Academy earned high placements and championship titles in Mock Trial, Moot Court, Legislative and Courtroom Artist competitions through different circuits.
“Most schools do not compete in more than one circuit so we’re kind of unique,” said Jonathan Ray, Creekview High School Law and Criminal Justice Academy Director. “It is really unusual for any school to offer all of the opportunities that we do. Any of these achievements alone are considered a big deal as each of these circuits have high levels of competition. We are grateful for the level of district and campus support we get and the culture around the Law Academy that has been developed.”
During the 2022-23 school year, the Academy was successful in multiple competitions. Here are a few highlights:
Yale Bulldog Mock Trial: September 24-25, 2022
Creekview Mock Trial students traveled to Connecticut for the tenth-annual Yale Bulldog International Invitational Tournament. This is the first time Creekview attended the competition in person, having competed virtually the past two years. The case involved a wrongful death suit involving a death by electrocution from a bathtub spa attachment.
The Mustangs competed against top teams from all over the country, including one international team from South Korea. In addition to the trials, students attended workshops taught by Yale students on various aspects of mock trial including theory of the case, direct and cross examination, witness character development, openings and closings.
Creekview finished in fifth place, the team’s highest placement in this tournament to date. The team, coached by Brian Sheguit, consisted of attorneys Sharon Oh (junior), Dominic Rogers (sophomore), Emma Hill (junior) and witnesses Sophina Boychenko (junior), Katlyn Keo (senior), Alexis Ayala (junior) and Kelsea Hayes (sophomore). Additionally, Sophina Boychenko won Best Witness category.
YMCA Youth and Government District Conference: November 5, 2022
Creekview Law Academy students participated in the YMCA Youth and Government’s District Conference. More than 1,200 students from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex were in attendance.
The mock trial case involved a felony murder resulting from a failure to stop and render aid following a traffic accident. Because Creekview’s varsity mock trial students were preparing their case for the Dallas Bar Association State competition, the junior varsity mock trial fielded two teams, finishing in 10th and 14th place.
The moot court appellate case concerned the Sixth-Amendment right to confront witnesses and the strangling of an inmate in a prison laundry facility. Creekview moot court brought six teams and two justice competitors. In the Justice competition, Kyren Davis and Kayleigh Ricker tied for second place. All six moot court teams placed in the top 10, with Maeve Durkee and Lauren Hohlt taking home second place.
Creekview’s Legislative team, under the direction of student captain James Lee, also participated in the conference. Each student presented their own original bill and participated in debates on the proposals.
At the end of the day, Creekview boasted a total of 26 presumptive state-qualifying students.
YMCA Youth and Government State Conference: March 2-5, 2023
Creekview Law Academy students competed at the YMCA Youth and Government State Convention in Austin in the District Court (Mock Trial), Appellate Court (Moot Court) and Legislative sections.
The mock trial case involved a negligent homicide for failure to render aid after a hit-=and-run. The team finished fifth in the state, with attorneys Daiyan Chowdhury and Emma Hill and witnesses Chelsea Martinez, Suzane Batada, Amy Kim, Carmyn Wise, Edith Rosas, and Iyla Dhamani.
The moot court case involved the Sixth-Amendment right to confront witnesses and the context of a prison assault case. In the moot court, Bianca Flores and Caroline Ready placed fifth and Lauren Hohlt and Maeve Durkee placed second. In appellate justice, Kyren Davis placed second and Kayleigh Ricker was named home state champion, all earning a spot at this summer’sNational Judicial Conference in Minneapolis.
In the Legislative competition, bills written by all three Creekview competitors (James Lee, Londyn Ervin and Vicente Medina) advanced to committee.
In Dallas, Alessia Chavez competed in the Dallas Bar Association State Mock Trial Tournament as a Courtroom Artist, having advanced from Regionals in January. Courtroom Artists complete their entire submission in one round, approximately 90 minutes. Pictured below is Chavez’s piece.
Cornell Moot Court Tournament: February 18-19, 2023
Twelve Creekview Moot Court students competed virtually in the Cornell Moot Court tournament. This is the most students Creekview has ever had compete in a collegiate tournament.
The moot court case involved a federal grant program paying the tuition of every enrolled student at a medical school, requiring that the school maintain a five-percent quota of Native Americans, which violates the fifth-amendment’s Equal Protection clause and the Anti-commandeering doctrine of the Tenth Amendment.
Four teams finished strong in the octofinals (top 16) and one team made it to the quarterfinals (top eight), despite the teams consisting of new students who were inexperienced and had never competed in a collegiate tournament before.
Creekview Law and Criminal Justice Academy, 2022-2023 Accolades:
YMCA Youth and Government National Judicial Conference: July 31-August 1, 2022
National Champion Moot Court Team — Angela Nguyen and Shemaiah DeJorge
National Champion Moot Court Best Attorney — Shemaiah DeJorge
National Champion Mock Trial Best Defense Attorney — Sharon Oh
Sixth Place Mock Trial Team — Yashica Nabar, Sharon Oh, Nicholas Pesqueda, Chelsea Martinez, Sophina Boychenko, Katlyn Keo, Amisha Islam and Alina Kassam
Yale Bulldog Mock Trial: September 24-25, 2022:
Fifth Place — Sharon Oh, Dominic Rogers, Emma Hill, Sophina Boychenko, Katlyn Keo, Alexis Ayala and Kelsea Hayes
Best Witness — Sophina Boychenko
YMCA Districts: November 5, 2022
State Qualifier — Sana Ali, Lizbeth Alvarez, Suzane Batada, Daiyan Chowdhury, Kyren Davis, Iyla Dhamani, Maeve Durkee, Londyn Ervin, Emma Favela, Bianca Flores, Camila Gaitan, Angelina Hensley, Emma Hill, Lauren Hohlt, Daeun Kim, Amy Kim, Han Le, Jaehoon Lee, Chelsea Martinez, Vicente Medina, Caroline Ready, Kayleigh Ricker, Edith Rosas, Katherine Stephenson and Carmyn Wise
Harlan Institute Virtual Semifinals: February 12-13, 2023
Semifinalists — Lauren Hohlt and Han Le, Maeve Durkee and Daiyan Chowdhury, Audrey Case and Daeun Kim, Kayleigh Ricker and Caroline Ready, Lizbeth Alvarez and Bianca Flores, James Lee and Sharon Oh
Tenth Place — Lauren Hohlt and Han Le
Cornell Moot Court: February 18-19, 2023
Quarterfinalists: James Lee and Kayleigh Ricker
YMCA Youth and Government State Conference: March 2-5, 2023
State Champion Justice — Kayleigh Ricker
Second Place Justice — Kyren Davis
Second Place, National Qualifiers — Maeve Durkee and Lauren Hohlt
Fifth Place, National Qualifiers — Daiyan Chowdhury, Emma Hill, Edith Rosas, Carmyn Wise, Chelsea Martinez, Suzane Batada, Iyla Dhamani and Amy Kim
Fifth Place, National Qualifiers — Caroline Ready and Bianca Flores
Seventh Place — Daeun Kim and Sana Ali
Ninth Place — Han Le and Angelina Hensley
Yale Moot Court: March 31-April 1, 2023
Eighth Place — Daeun Kim and Caroline Ready
Tenth Place — Maeve Durkee and James Lee
UC Santa Barbara Moot Court: April 15-16, 2023
Quarterfinalists — Maeve Durkee and Lauren Hohlt
David Post Mock Trial: April 22, 2023
Best Witness — Emma Favela
Texas Citizen Bee Region 10 Competition: April 21-23, 2023
Regional Finalist — Camila Gaitan
Princeton Moot Court: April 28-29, 2023
Second Place — Maeve Durkee
Third Place — Daeun Kim and James Lee
Top Attorney — Maeve Durkee
National American Moot Court Association Tournament of Champions: May 20-21, 2023
Invited Teams — Maeve Durkee and Lauren Hohlt, Daeun Kim and Caroline Ready, James Lee and Audrey Case
Texas Bar Association: Attending June 22, 2023
Leon Jaworski Award for Excellence in Law Focused Education — Jonathan Ray
Conference on National Affairs: Attending July 1-6, 2023
Invited Delegate — James Lee
Creekview’s Law and Criminal Justice Academy provides opportunities for students to explore various aspects of the American legal system. Students may choose from the Law, Law Enforcement or the Political Science strands, compete on Mock Trial or Moot Court teams and study through either the traditional or dual credit pathway. Experiences both in and out of the classroom help students build relationships, leadership skills, critical thinking, reasoning skills and oral advocacy skills which will be valuable both in the legal profession and any other career path a student might choose after high school.
To learn more about the Academy, please visit their website.