From the courtroom to the army: Meet the mock trial attorney with confidence to conquer all


From the legal battlefield to the frontlines of the military, Jenna Tackett’s a mock trial attorney’s unwavering confidence has prepared her to conquer any challenge thrown her way.

Emily Lynch, Staff Writer

As senior Mock Trial Attorney Jenna Tackett interrogated the witness on stand she exuded a gleaming confidence that fellow senior Maysaa Mohammed couldn’t help but watch in awe.

However, this confidence was undermined by feelings of fear and anxiety. The opposing team, Indian Hill, was notoriously good for making it past regionals. Both Mohammed and Tackett were scared of the trial ahead and how they would perform, especially given the fact that only a week before a fellow team member had dropped out, leaving Tackett to take on a secondary attorney role in addition to her normal workload. Despite all of this, Mohammed said that her fellow attorney portrayed nothing but confidence and resilience while on the floor. 

For Tackett, this strength is nothing new, especially to those around her. Mohammed describes her friend as stubborn, resilient, and brave: the kind of qualities that evolved into Tackett’s deciding factor to join the Army Reserves following high school. 

Tackett will attend the University of Kentucky in the fall where she will study to become a combat medic specialist with the end goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. Tackett will also serve in the army reserves and as an ROTC cadet while in school.   

Tackett’s motivations for joining the army aren’t entirely based on joining the medical field. Her reasons revolve around increasingly present threats of gun violence in American schools and assault associated with being a woman. 

“Part of my choice in being in the army is having those outlets to protect myself,” Tacket said. “As a student in a high school in America and as a woman, I cannot afford to be weak at any moment.  

The army offers Tackett an opportunity to put herself in a position where she has the knowledge and strength to protect herself. 

“I needed to make sure that when I have a career, it’s in a place of authority and not a place of weakness, because I need to make sure I’m protected,” Tackett said. 

Along with strength, Tackett also possesses a confidence seen by those around her. To Mock Trial Coach and Social Science Teacher Elisa King, this was most evident when Tackett started to take charge on the Mock Trial team. 

“She wanted to be more like someone that the younger kids looked up to,” King said.  

Tackett’s confidence easily rubs off on others. During the Regional competition for mock trial, Tackett’s own optimism for the tough competition ahead helped to give her teammates the morale boost they needed for the challenge.

“She was just like ‘No, we got this. We definitely have a chance of winning.’ That helped me. I  believed. I’m just like, ‘We’re definitely going to win! We’re going to do really good!’ So we were super confident,” Mohammed said. 

Despite the results not being what the team had hoped, Tackett’s confidence and positivity made the competition enjoyable for the whole team. 

“I’m just so grateful to have a smart friend with so much confidence, and that’s also helped me to feel better. We didn’t win, but it was a very fun experience. I think it really showed the true side of Jenna which is confident, resilient, and stubborn,” Mohammed said.

However while Tackett’s influence on others might’ve helped to rally the troops and improve the strength and accusation of the whole team, mock trial also gave Tackett skills that she needed to build on skills related to her confidence. 

“I feel like my vocabulary expanded, and my communication skills in general,” Tackett said. “I feel like that’ll be very useful to carry myself into college.” 

According to King, the ability to communicate ideas and opinions effectively has been only one part of the large amount of growth that she’s seen Tackett undergo in the past couple of years to become the effective and confident leader she is today. Additionally, King thinks the increased discipline Tackett showed during senior year while balancing mock trial, the Army Reserves, and academics will serve her well in the future both in college and her career.  

“During my time in Mock Trial I truly gained the skills of what it took to become a leader,” Tackett said. “In my journey to become a commissioned officer I will really need to utilize those skills to stick out in the crowd against my peers which will build upon those skills.” 

King hopes to see this confidence serve Tackett well as she continues on to the Army Reserves and beyond 

“I’m very proud of where she started to where she is now, and what she’s going to do in the future,” King said. “She’s going to do great things.”