John E. Havelock Trial Simulation Courtroom

computer generated rendering of the havelock courtroom



The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and the UAA Justice Center are constructing a legal simulation courtroom on campus in Anchorage. The John E. Havelock Trial Simulation Courtroom will be named in honor of John E. Havelock's landmark work in public policy and constitutional law, as well as giving tribute to his commitment to legal education and training, and his service as founding Director of the UAA Justice Center. 

The The Havelock Trial Simulation Courtroom at UAA will be a community resource that aims to: 

  1. Offer a world-class learning experience for UAA students both on campus, as well as across the state of Alaska.
  2. Provide space for both the public and private sector law offices to gain trial practice in a mock courtroom setting.
  3. Enable opportunities to educate and inspire Alaska middle and high school students to build partnerships with secondary legal education programs and curricula.  

John Havelock

“I am humbled by this special honor, which acknowledges my significant efforts to establish the state’s first and only Justice Center. Throughout my life, I have worked to serve the greater good, and I am both pleased and proud that my name will be connected with those who will receive advanced knowledge and understanding through UAA’s mock trial courtroom education and training.”

-John Havelock



Kanani Morrow
Kanani Morrow reviews documents while the counsel for the plaintiff questions a witness as students in UAA Justice Center associate professor Ryan Fortson's Trial and Advanced Litigation Processes course conduct a mock trial.

The simulation courtroom will first and foremost serve a variety of student learning objectives, including enriching and complementing the curriculums for UAA students in the Justice Center’s Legal Studies and Justice programs, which educate and train students for Alaska legal and criminal/juvenile justice careers. From the beginning, the mock courtroom will have the technology infrastructure to simulcast courtroom activities to UAA students studying from community campuses across the state, including in remote villages and rural communities, thereby dramatically increasing access to the Justice Center’s academic programs. It is anticipated that additional remote learning opportunities may emerge through the use of the space; for example, specialized legal education could be made available to benefit Alaska Native tribes.

The courtroom will provide a more robust and interactive experience for students, especially for those students studying remotely.  This project offers the perfect opportunity to create deep and meaningful learning experiences for students who want to study and work in rural Alaska, where there is currently a lack of workforce in legal fields. It will enable UAA’s curriculum to offer concrete, simulated legal practice so that students gain greater exposure to, and understanding of, real-world formal courtroom and trial procedures, processes and protocols, familiarity with the built environment of courtrooms, and the more “informal” aspects of courtroom and trial practice, such as manner of dress, interactional norms, and general courtroom decorum. 

The increased interactive learning engagement for UAA students will also be offered to middle and high school students, and other youth groups interested in justice education. The exciting real-world introductory experience exposure to young students may inspire young people to consider such careers. 


Michael Patterson
Michael Patterson presents opening arguments for the defense as students in UAA Justice Center associate professor Ryan Fortson's Trial and Advanced Litigation Processes course conduct a mock trial.

Outcomes and Impact

UAA hopes this project will enable the University to build new partnerships with the Alaska legal community, both in the private and public sectors, and across a full range of legal careers and specialties, from court clerks, to paralegals, trial attorneys of all sorts, and magistrates and judges.

The UAA Justice Center will make the Havelock Simulation Courtroom available to the private sector for trial work. This will be an opportunity for current practice lawyers in criminal defense,  personal injury, and others to experience genuine simulation trial work. 

Simulated legal experiences -  most notably, mock trials and moot courts - have proven to be a highly effective learning tool for developing practical, skill-based knowledge about the law and legal practice including, but not limited to direct and cross-examination of witnesses, the presentation of evidence, critical thinking, and oral advocacy skills. Simulated legal experiences will also leave participants such as students or private practitioners with a much deeper appreciation of the challenges judges, attorneys, witnesses, and juries encounter in attempting to present all relevant facts and legal arguments and ensure the just resolution of the legal issues involved. 

The John E. Havelock Trial Simulation Courtroom will be designed to look and function exactly like a State of Alaska courtroom. The floorplan covers 2,100 square feet, and will be equipped with the latest digital training technologies that will enable courtroom simulation experiences to be synchronously and interactively delivered wherever students or participants may be located. 


Naming Opportunities


Naming Opportunity Donation Amount
Judge’s Bench $100,000
Defense Table  $50,000
Plaintiff’s Table  $50,000
Jury Box  $50,000
Witness Stand  $25,000
Court Clerk Station  $25,000
Main Podium  $25,000
Individual Jury Seat (12)  $10,000
Donor Photographic Portrait  $5,000
Donor Honor Roll  $500

To learn which naming opportunities are still available, please contact UAA College of Health Senior Development Officer Jennifer Motes, (907) 713-7735,


Budget & Fundraising Details

We anticipate $600,000 in state and federal contributions to this project. Additional funding will be required and there are various naming opportunities within the simulation courtroom, as well as opportunities to make a gift in memory of John Havelock, or to honor additional law professionals, UAA Justice Center faculty (former or current), alumni, and/or students. Funds raised in excess of the renovation costs will be designated to an endowed fund to cover annual operating cots for the John E. Havelock Trial Simulation Courtroom in perpetuity.

Item Amount
Preliminary Budget $900,000
Anticipated State and Federal Contributions $600,000
Philanthropic Support Needed $300,000