Jacquovia Higgs debates her way to success


Contributed by Jacquovia Higgs

Jacquovia Higgs uses her planning skills to hope her find sucess in debate, in hope for a future as a lawyer.

It was December, 2020, five rounds into a debate tournament. It was her second tournament ever and Jacquovia Higgs won all of her rounds, securing third place in the competition.

Higgs is a junior and is in the mock trial and debate clubs. She joined mock trial in her freshman year and is now a co-captain, alongside junior Olivia Sheehan and seniors Teo Dimov and Linsey Brookfield. Higgs joined the debate team in her junior year. Higgs and her peers agree that two of her strengths are her abilities to plan and think quickly on her feet, both of which contribute to her success.

Higgs said she was inspired to join mock trial after she read “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson prior to her freshman year.

“I remember reading “Just Mercy”, and it made me fall in love with the idea of practicing law and being a lawyer. It was the idea that practicing law can help so many people, especially with the type of cases we saw in “Just Mercy”, where it helps a lot of people who’ve been disenfranchised by the criminal justice systems,” Higgs said. “I thought mock trial would help push me in that direction.”

Higgs said she is interested in immigration laws and the criminal justice system so that she can help people who are in need of attorneys.

“Helping people who need an immigration lawyer and helping undocumented people would be a really fulfilling job for me. Another thing I would love to be is a public defender and help people who don’t have the money to afford attorneys,” Higgs said. “Everybody knows that all these systems disenfranchise different groups of people so I want to be a part of changing that and I want to be a part of helping those people who are at a disadvantage.”

Higgs said her biggest strengths in both debate and mock trial is her ability to plan ahead.

“Before I go into a debate round, I think I do a good job of making sure everything is planned out. Of course, there are always going to be bumps in the road, but I spend a lot of time on my planning my chase writing and my assumption writing so that everything can go as smoothly as possible,” Higgs said.

Her fellow debate club member, junior Charlotte Stokes, said that Higgs’ ability to plan helps her when she is debating.

“She plans ahead for strategies that she’ll take in debate against different arguments. She’s really good at seeing the other side and so, in doing that, she’s really good at planning her responses to the other side in advance,” Stokes said.

Sheehan said that Higgs’ preparation makes her a good co-captain on mock trial.

“She is very, very reliable. She will always get to school at 7:25 a.m. when we start at 7:30 a.m. She’s always very prepared and she’s always texting in the group chat with the captains, trying to plan out what we’re going to do the next day,” Sheehan said.

Higgs said her experience in these clubs is one that she is thankful for and feels will be crucial to her future as a lawyer.

“After high school, I want to go to college, and I want to go to law school after college. I love the idea of being able to help people, especially with all the issues we have in this country and our judicial system,” Higgs said. “I’m always going to look back on my high school mock trial experience and be like, ‘Wow, this kind of framed the person I was in high school.’ It really helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my life. So I’ll be forever grateful for my high school mock trial and debate experience.”