Carson Kids Conquer Constitutional Questions
Demonstrating breadth and depth of knowledge of our U. S. Constitution, students from the Rachel Carson Middle School arrived on the campus of George Mason University (“GMU”) for the “We the People” competition. After this Fairfax County Public Schools’ success at the state and regional levels, the students of Ms. Cynthia Burgett’s 8th grade class had put in additional time and effort to prepare for the National Invitational that was to be held here in Virginia. Herndon Lawyer Doug Landau returned to help these remarkable students during their afternoon Civics class.
Jumping in his car on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, Landau would zoom down Elden Street and Centreville Road to be on time for the group presentations, questions and critiques. At the McLaren Road school, lawyer Landau used some of the techniques he employs to help his own clients and witnesses to speak clearly, slowly and with appropriate emphasis. The students were obviously nervous, but consistent practice helped their confidence and overall presentations. Lawyer Landau noted, “These Rachel Carson Middle School students showed tremendous improvement during the months I have been coming to work with them. While other teams, coaches and teachers may have more experience at the national level, I think the Carson kids are ready for the challenge. Their teacher, Ms. Burgett, has done a remarkable job with these 28 students, instilling deep understanding of our government, admiration of its foundational elements and application to current issues.”
As is his custom when trying cases for injured individuals Landau came to the George Mason Fairfax campus early on Friday in order to familiarize himself with the specific locations of the National Competition’s events. It is not enough to simply make it to the “big show,” but to do one’s best. Once they advanced to the National level, as described in a prior post, lawyer Landau knew the stakes, and concomitant pressure, would be much higher. The students’ performance at George Mason University would bring honor to them, their teachers, their coaches, their families and their community. A “scouting trip” like this is a requirement, not only for the best lawyers, but also for the clients and witnesses, so that no one gets lost or is late on “the big day.”
While on campus, Landau also again took part in the 18th Annual Victim’s Rights Run & Walk. In what he hopes will be a portent of great things to come for the Rachel Carson students, Landau nearly won the whole race ! Despite racing runners a third his age, Herndon Landau finished 3rd overall, 2nd male and beat all the University students. Every April, the Police Department and the office Wellness, Alcohol, and Violence Education and Services joins the national victims’ rights week in promoting victims rights and to honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. Full race results may be found here. With the help of the excellent GMU Police force, the Victims’ Rights 5K Run/Walk is a George Mason University and lawyer Landau tradition! He hopes the Rachel Carson Middle School students finish in the top 3, just as he did, during their National “We the People” competition.