Photo Essay – A Day in the Life of a Lawyer


Dylan Conover and Brianna Miller

This year, junior Emma Mathias is once again fulfilling one of three positions of portraying a lawyer on Platteview’s Mock Trial team. Aside from the responsibilities of said role, Mathias is also involved in Future Problem Solvers, Art Club, Writing Club, Drama Club, Choir, Marching Band, and more.

Emma studies for her online class test during seventh hour. “Priorities. They’re a great thing. It’s very difficult to do back-to-back activities everyday, and there isn’t very much time for homework,” she explains. “Any free moment I have to work makes it possible to fit in all of these activities.”
Emma takes time to practice clarinet before the next band rehearsal. This year’s Marching Band show, Great Moments in Cinema, will be presented at the band’s first competition on Saturday, October 12 at Links High School. Emma is both excited and nervous for the competition.
Mock Trial practice is held after school on Wednesday, but Emma Mathias starts off her day at the Future Problem Solvers (FPS) meeting. There, Emma helps lead underclassmen in brainstorming solutions for possible situations in the future.
During the FPS meeting half-an-hour before school starts, Emma discusses the impact a hypothetical company might have on the future of travel, as well as possible solutions. These solutions are organized in 16 pre-determined categories, and club members determine the possible ramifications for each section.
Emma reviews the alto part for the new choir music before class starts. The new song, “God Bless America,” will be the eighth selection the choir has learned so far; luckily, this one is in English—unlike the other Maori and Latin songs.
Emma studies for her next test in Advanced Math, her class right after choir. Along with fellow juniors Khyenne Cottrell and Claire Snodgrass, she tries to find the asymptotes of a function.
Emma studies the Mock Trial manual during practice on Wednesday. As a lawyer, it is important for her to know the location of all the relevant information for each topic, as well as points that may potentially be brought up during the competition.
Here, Emma asks her direct questions to one of the witnesses. This practice helps her imagine the actual event, developing a more cohesive argument.

Emma Mathias is entering her third year as a Mock Trial participant, excited to once again immerse herself in the field of law. As advisor Mr. Comine explains, Mock Trial requires “dedication, time management, and a commitment to the team and process [but can be] a great hands on learning experience.” Though Mr. Comine became the new advisor this year and feels “anxious about doing something quite new,” he, along with Emma, is looking forward to the opportunity.