February 15, 2017

Pre Law Society sponsors Minnesota Supreme Court visit

Pre-Law Society Minnesota Supreme Court Team with Justice Kevin Ross at the Minnesota Court of Appeals building, St. Paul, Minn., in February.

Pre-Law Society Minnesota Supreme Court Team with Justice Kevin Ross at the Minnesota Court of Appeals building, St. Paul, Minn., in February.

The team observed a Minnesota State Supreme Court oral argument

Six students interested in learning more about the law in action traveled to the Minnesota Supreme Court and Minnesota Court of Appeals in February. Brooke McMullen (Psychology), Kendahl Javorsky (Psychology), Grace Holm (Legal Studies - Criminal Justice), Nicole Stodola (Legal Studies), Ryan Kelleher (Legal Studies) and Kimberley Gager (Legal Studies) made the two day trip to visit the courts. Pre-Law Society, a student organization affiliated with the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Program, sponsored and hosted the co-curricular learning trip on February 8-10, 2017.

The team observed a Minnesota State Supreme Court oral argument on a case dealing with traumatic brain injury of a four year old child as a result of nearly drowning in the Mississippi River, a civil law case. While observing the case, the team was able to see Justices of the Supreme Court question the attorneys for both sides of this case. Interestingly enough, the students did not agree on who they felt had won the argument, but agreed that it was very enjoyable to watch.

The students then went to the Minnesota Court of Appeals where they heard arguments on a case involving robbery, a criminal law case. The differences between civil and criminal law were clear as the defendant tried to argue that he could not be convicted of his crime due to intoxication impairment. This was another great case for the students to hear and learn more about criminal law.

The students also had the opportunity to meet with a Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge, The Honorable Kevin Ross. Judge Ross spoke with them on his journey to becoming an appeals court judge and his motivating factors. He also talked about the importance of the justice field as it gives oneself purpose by helping others.

While in the Twin Cities, the students also toured the newly remodeled Minnesota State Capitol building and looked for law symbols as well as an art institute.

Pre-Law Society has hosted three critical trips this year to learn about the law in action: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in the Twin Cities, the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Washburn, Wis., as part of the Justice on Wheels program, and the Minnesota Supreme Court/Court of Appeals. Their last trip of the year will be to Madison to view the Wisconsin Supreme Court in action in April. Students interested in learning more about the law should contact President Nicole Stodola at nstodola@uwsuper.edu.

Dr. Maria Cuzzo (Program Coordinator, Legal Studies and Criminal Justice) is the faculty advisor for this student organization. Cuzzo states “learning about the law involves more than the classroom - it is creating outside of the classroom real world experiential learning moments for our students where they can see what we talk about in the classroom. Our Pre-Law Society in 2016-2017 has assertively moved to create these meaningful experiences for students interested in the law.”

Pre-Law Society Minnesota Supreme Court Team with Justice Kevin Ross at the Minnesota Court of Appeals building, St. Paul, Minn., in February.

Pre-Law Society Minnesota Supreme Court Team with Justice Kevin Ross at the Minnesota Court of Appeals building, St. Paul, Minn., in February.

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