Spain Park Law Academy prepping for more success

Published 4:00 pm Friday, October 9, 2015

Students in the Spain Park High School Law Academy are ready for another successful year. (Contributed)

Students in the Spain Park High School Law Academy are ready for another successful year. (Contributed)


HOOVER—Still riding high from a team win at the YMCA National Mock Trial Competition in Chicago this past summer, the Spain Park High School Law Academy has its sights set on another banner year, with plans to attend at least four major events.

The 150-member Law Academy, an academic track that introduces students to American law and judicial systems, plans to kick off the season with the Empire mock Trial World Championships in New York City this October.

“The primary goal of Law Academy is the creation of a ‘school within a school’ atmosphere fostering academic excellence, critical thinking, real-world professionalism and practical experience in the function of government,” Craig Thompson, a Law Academy director, wrote in a news release.

Thompson, who started the academy in 2007, manages the program with Libby Day and Phillip Pate.

After the Empire Mock Trial, students will travel to Montgomery for the Youth Judicial State Mock Trial Competition in November, the ‘We the People’ Mock Congressional Hearings in Birmingham and the YMCA Youth Legislature in Montgomery.

“Much of this year will be about maintaining the tradition of sportsmanship and excellence of previous years,” Thompson wrote. “We hope to continue to reach out to other schools and the community to increase opportunities for both Hoover and Alabama students.”

The Spain Park High School Law Academy has racked up several notable accolades on various platforms, including the National High School Mock Trial Championship, the Empire Mock Trial World Championship, the YMCA National Judicial Youth Conference, the Alabama YMCA Youth Judicial Competition and the Alabama YMCA Youth Legislative Conference.

Law Academy students meet daily for four grade-level courses. Additionally, different subsets of the Law Academy meet after school and on designated weekends. It’s a formula that, according to Thompson, culminates with community support.

“The Alabama YMCA Youth in Government program, the school system, the faculty, staff and administration here at Spain Park, the students—all of the groups have been highly supportive of the Law Academy,” Thompson wrote. “That backing, combined with our state and national achievements, have helped solidify this program as one that’s nationally recognized; a program that continues to open doors for other Alabama academic teams to compete and achieve at national competitions.”