Meet Our Family  

Read Mills

Spain Park High School
Hoover, Alabama, USA

Years at Empire: 2011, 2012

Empire made me me evaluate complex arguments and use critical thinking in a way I never had before… the experience made me stronger intellectually.

Where are you now? 

Currently, I am a freshman at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL.  I am studying Political Science and Philosophy.

How, if at all, did the Empire help you get there?

Empire made me evaluate complex arguments and use critical thinking in a way I never had before. The lessons I learned and the experience I gained made me stronger intellectually, while taking my Mock Trial skills to the next  level. Without Empire, I probably would not have been able to join Alabama’s  Mock Trial competition team, and I wouldn’t have the legal understanding that I  have today.  

What’s your favorite Empire moment?

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy resulted in a few teams being stuck inside the hotel for a few days.  Amidst the boredom, a few teams came together to hold an impromptu and entirely improvised version of the trial in the lobby of the hotel. The main twist? Each statement and examination had to conform to a particular theme which was drawn out of a hat before we began. You should have seen the look on the jurors’ faces as I had to incorporate as many Michael Jackson references as I could in my closing statement. It is a tie between that, and getting to dance to “Gangnam Style” with the team from South Korea.

How would you describe the Empire to someone that has never been?

You will spend more time working and preparing for the Empire than you will for  any other High School Mock Trial tournament in the world. While it is undoubtedly a lot of work, Empire gives you the best possible Mock Trial experience. There is no other high school tournament which allows you to face a team from Ireland in the morning, and eat dinner with a team from South  Korea in the evening. Empire betters you both in the courtroom and out. You gain valuable mock trial experience while making friends from across the globe – friends you will keep for the rest of your life.


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