Today in second grade humanities, we were extraordinarily lucky to have a special visitor. My former law school classmate (and Anand and Ashwin’s mom), Shilpa Satoskar, came to talk to us about the law. Shilpa is an attorney for the Appellate Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She talked to the kids about so many different things. They learned the difference between direct evidence and circumstantial evidence (can your child tell you the difference?). They learned how to pick a jury. They thought about how to write questions for witnesses in a way that elicited the parts of the story most favorable to their side of the case. Shilpa talked to them about appeals, since that is her specialty, and explained that she represents parties who seek to have their convictions overturned. Shilpa writes briefs on their behalf and then argues in front of a three-judge panel.
Shilpa then helped the kids work on their questions. Most of the students brought back the ten questions they were supposed to have written for homework, but there were definitely some who did not. Please send these in as soon as you can! We are under the gun preparing for trial, especially since we won’t have school next Tuesday because of conference day.
The kids also took turns questioning each other, acting alternately as witnesses and attorneys. Their knowledge of trial strategy is pretty impressive.
Keep working on those questions! Next time, I will collect them all and pool them in Schoology. Though now that I’ve set up a course for our class, I realize I need to separate it into prosecution and defense. That will be the next order of business from my end!
Thank you, Shilpa, for spending the morning with us! The kids (and I) all loved hearing from an expert!