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Students learn courtroom skills at the Dole Institute

February 14, 2023

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics has served as the foreground for student political exposure, leadership training and emphasizing the importance of honorable politics to young people. The institute creates opportunities for student engagement and student growth through their programs and events.

In 2022, generous gifts for One Day. One KU. Supported “Counselor’s Reboot,” an experiential learning opportunity that allowed political science students to gain valuable, first-hand knowledge in preparing and presenting at a mock courtroom trial. The Dole Institute brought in an attorney from California and an attorney from Topeka for the event.

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The Counselor’s Reboot selected two students to work directly with the practicing attorneys, but other students were able to observe the trial. The students assisted with research, cross-examinations and the defense of their case. Two expert witnesses were brought into the courtroom for students to cross-examine. The mock trial was centered around federal regulation of big technology companies. The students and attorneys argued whether there should be federal oversights of social media and technology companies within the United States.

“I don’t know anywhere else that I would have been able to participate in this real-world experience in a mock courtroom setting,” said Catherine Magana, a KU senior studying political science. “Working alongside practicing attorneys, researching current law and working with expert witnesses to figure out how we were going to make these arguments was really cool.”

Without the contributions made on One Day. One KU., these students would not have been able to gain this experience and grow their knowledge about courtroom trials. “Gifts of any amount are important,” said Maria Fisher, development and outreach coordinator for the Dole Institute. “This year, we plan to use funds for new programs that will engage students and give them even more opportunities.”

– Pamela Urlacher

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

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February 14, 2023
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