On August 3, 2017, Roosevelt Jean, a Certified Civil trial attorney and member of the New York & New Jersey bars, presided over the 2017 Legal Outreach, Inc. criminal law mock trial championship at Cardozo Law School.
For over 30 years, Legal Outreach, Inc. has utilized the law as a vehicle for motivating urban teens to strive for academic success. This innovative program provides rising ninth graders from New York’s five boroughs an opportunity to learn about criminal justice, and to sharpen their reading, writing, critical thinking, and advocacy skills. The program also strives to increase the number of minorities in the legal profession in order to close the achievement gap in the United States.
During the fictional criminal trial of State v. Chung, NBA veteran “Nick Chung” defended an assault charge alleged by teammate “Angel Hussle.” Teammate “Colby Silent” was the state’s star eyewitness. These trial finalists demonstrated outstanding legal advocacy - all with their distinct and charming NYC stylings. They delivered powerful opening and closing statements; demonstrated textbook direct and cross examinations; and maturity and commitment to their respective witness roles.
In addition to providing students valuable lessons about trying cases, “Judge Jean” empowered them by sharing his similar story about overcoming obstacles and charting his own course toward success. “Judge Jean” challenged each student to commit to diligence, discipline, and an unwavering belief in themselves. He commented, “As a 12-year-old Bronx kid, I dreamed of becoming a lawyer... no doubt these ambitious kids have the same abilities to make their dreams come true.”