The new law room looks fresh in its first official functioning year. Heilman is relieved that he can now judge more realistic mock trials. (photo by PJ O’Grady)
The new law room looks fresh in its first official functioning year. Heilman is relieved that he can now judge more realistic mock trials. (photo by PJ O’Grady)

Improved law room sparks new atmosphere

September 15, 2022

Psychology and Law Pathway teacher Jay Heilman will now officially have an appropriate room to fit his judge’s gown and gavel. Walking along the commons hallway, students may sneak a peek at the newly constructed law space in room 144.  

According to Heilman, the new law room was built over the course of last year and the summer. Over the past five years, other schools in the district had specific law rooms, but Prospect itself did not have its own room. So, Heilman would have to construct his own makeshift courtroom in room 110 during mock trials; this consisted of taller desks and shorter desks aligned accordingly to fit what a courtroom looked like. 

That process of rearranging the desks became hard after a while. Heilman pushed for funding to get their own authentic law room. Last year, Heilman explained he got the space for room 144 with the necessary furniture, but it wasn’t adequately constructed enough for proper use. 

This year, the room is fully complete with the slight exception of a larger white board needed. It has a judge’s stand, witness stands, lighting, murals, and updated flooring. Heilman expressed his satisfaction with the room. 

“Definitely last year’s students when they stop by and look in, they’re very jealous,” Heilman said. “The kids who didn’t have it… and [they] see what it is now and they’re pretty envious.”

Heilman especially likes how the room contributes to the learning experience. He explained how he tries to make his mock trials as official as possible. From a realistic script Heilman reads, to officer Schapps’ presence as the “bailiff” almost everything is represented like it would be in a true courtroom. The renovations just add to the attempt for a realistic setting. 

“I want to make it feel as real as I can for my students,” Heilman said.

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