The award-winning Thomas D. Horne Leadership in the Law Program offers a unique, challenging opportunity for local rising high school seniors.
Twenty-four students from public and private schools across Loudoun and Fauquier counties participate in this week-long camp that provides in-depth training in the legal system, culminating in mock trials at the Loudoun County Courthouse in front of real Judges, as well as juries comprised of community stakeholders. Students participate in a competitive application process designed to recruit only one or two campers from every public and private high school in Loudoun and Fauquier counties.
Law Camp was renamed to honor retired Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Horne, who initiated the project. Students prepare all week for their mock trials, working directly with local judges, lawyers, law clerks and other professionals. Local sitting judges preside over the mock trials, community leaders and other volunteers serve on the jury, and local attorneys demonstrate their dramatic skills as witnesses.
Local attorneys serve on committees responsible for fundraising, publicity, and organizing witnesses and mentors, to name a few. Dedicated mentors devote many hours during their work week to teaching students about criminal and civil law, courtroom procedures, effective trial advocacy, and the use of evidence. Under the supervision of their mentors, student legal teams study case outlines, visit the crime scene, interview witnesses and experts, analyze evidence, and argue preliminary motions in preparation for trial.
“Every year I look forward to Law Camp. As a mentor, I have had the excellent opportunity to work with bright, curious and ambitious teenagers, and to watch them progress through the week as they prepare for their mock trials,” said Lindsay Hendrix, Loudoun County Bar Association member, “I have to say at the end of camp I always feel like I have learned as much as the campers.”
One of the highlights of the week is a private behind-the-scenes tour of the United States Supreme Court. Students participate in other recreational and team building activities as well, including salsa dancing lessons by an Arthur Murray instructor, and white water rafting.
The Leadership in the Law Summer Camp is offered to students at no cost and is sponsored by the Loudoun County Bar Foundation, the Loudoun County Bar Association, the Fauquier County Bar Association, and private law firms in Loudoun County and Fauquier County.