Share this:

“One thing I learned this week in Court Camp is that the trials on TV are very different in real life,” a teenager wrote this after a week in Court Camp. The one week camp at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse exposes teens to the reality of our judicial system. During the camp, teens gain insight on what really happens in the courthouse on a daily basis and learn what it is like to be a lawyer. Divided into four different sessions with fifteen students each, Court Camp provides experiential learning, as well as hands-on activities and networking opportunities that each student can use should they choose to pursue a career in the legal field.

Court Camp also goes beyond the courthouse, campers visit the CMPD crime lab, the district attorney’s office, a large law firm and the Mecklenburg County jail. Amando Chavez attended Court Camp in 2016. He says the jail visit was one of the most memorable experiences. “After we entered, we went through security, and had to walk in a line like we were in elementary school again. We saw one inmate who had handcuffs and ankle cuffs who growled at us. But the coolest part was when we were allowed to walk into the “break room,” and had the chance to be in the same room with the inmates. We were like three feet away from inmates playing a game of checkers, or watching TV.”

The one week session is capped off with a mock trial in an actual courtroom and a graduation ceremony led by a district court judge. “The mock trial was probably the best way to learn. In the mock trial, you can actually see what it’s like being an attorney or how it feels to be asked questions on the stand, how to find the right questions so you can win your case,” Chavez said.
Since the inception of Court Camp, other law camps have been created by area colleges and universities, but none offer the full range of hands-on, real-world experiences teens are exposed to during Court Camp, many of which are often lead by actual practitioners.

This program offers teens the opportunity to observe live trials, meet judges and other court personnel who work in court daily, and take behind the scenes tours normally off-limits to the public. Registration is limited to 15 students a session.

To learn about how to register for Court Camp 2017 go to

Share this: