TU Law Fraternity Uses Pinocchio to Teach Positive Side of Law to Fifth Graders

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kendall-Whittier Elementary fifth-graders will see a new side of "Pinocchio" as The University of Tulsa College of Law’s Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity performs the mock trial of State of Italia v. Geppetto for about 150 students at TU’s John Rogers Hall on Friday, October 14.

This annual Kendall Court event, co-sponsored by the TU Law Diversity Committee, will occur from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Price & Turpen Courtroom and will give students positive exposure to the legal profession and a chance to be directly involved in determining justice. Many of the students at Kendall-Whittier are from low-income homes, and this event is often their first positive exposure to the legal world.

TU Law students and faculty, adorned in full "Pinocchio" costumes, will act out their roles as attorneys, clients, and witnesses, while the students serve as jurors. The presentation introduces students to basic elements of the legal process by utilizing a fact pattern with which the students are familiar. This year, the case concerns a custody dispute involving Pinocchio, Geppetto, and the Blue Fairy.

During their visit to the TU College of Law, students will also visit the Mabee Legal Information Center, and librarians will make presentations about government web sites for children, the Lincoln penny, and Native American story telling.

Phi Delta Phi members will serve lunch to the students and hand out free T-shirts to the students. In addition, three TU law students, Samer Mahjoub, Benoni Parsons, and Lorena Rivas Tiemann, will speak to the fifth-graders about the value of education and pursuing their dreams.

Scott Been