COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 3, 2016)—Garrett Johnson of Elrod Pope Law Firm in Rock Hill has been named the 2016 Lawyer of the Year by the SC Bar Law Related Education (LRE) Division. Johnson will be recognized at the House of Delegates meeting on May 19 for furthering the mission of the division with his long dedication to the Mock Trial program.
Johnson has been active with Mock Trial in South Carolina for many years, dating back to his participation on the Fort Mill High School Mock Trial team as a student. After graduating from high school, Johnson attended Wake Forest University and founded the school’s Mock Trial program.
Now a practicing attorney, Johnson has volunteered as an attorney coach for the Fort Mill High School Mock Trial team since 2011 and this year led the team to its third state championship.
“Garrett’s dedication and desire to serve the community exemplifies the spirit of the LRE Mock Trial Program,” said co-attorney coach Walter Dusky, who also coached Johnson as a student. “I cannot thank Garret enough for the job he has done coaching our team, continuing the legacy of the Mock Trial program at Fort Mill High School and for the impact he has had on students while doing so.”
The goal of Mock Trial is to educate students about the basis of the American judicial system and the mechanics of litigation. Students fill the roles of attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs and timekeepers and present the prosecution and defense sides of a fictitious criminal case before a panel of local volunteer lawyers and judges.
“I have never been more proud to be part of something than I am to be a member of the Fort Mill High School Mock Trial team,” said Fort Mill Mock Trial student Tonia Xing. “We are not only a team, but a family, and because of Garrett Johnson, the dream we dreamed together of winning the state competition became a reality.”
The LRE Lawyer of the Year Award is presented to a member of the SC Bar who has fostered public understanding of the values of the legal and judicial system; stimulated a deeper sense of individual responsibility by helping students recognize their legal duties and rights; encouraged and supported effective LRE programs; and increased communication among students, educators and those working in the legal system.
About the Law Related Education Division:
The SC Bar LRE Division, which was developed to improve the ability of teachers to instruct law related education, has been part of the Bar since 1976.
About the South Carolina Bar:
The SC Bar, which has a membership of more than 15,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.