Education can take you to some unusual places, and affect you in atypical ways—like, say, taking the stand in the courtroom of a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge as expert witnesses for the prosecution AND the defense.

Two students in Dr. Martha Eining’s Fraud and Forensic Accounting class, Chase Potter and Mariela Zhivkova (pictured below), recently had just that experience in the courtroom of Justice William Thurman, answering questions from real lawyers from the firm of Durham, Jones & Pinegar about a fraud case Eining’s class had explored all semester.

Eining organizes the course so that the students are split into two teams who are “hired” by either the plaintiff or the defense in a case of alleged fraud. The students sift through raw data, interview potential witnesses, and do analysis of the industry involved and the specific firm in the mock case. Then, both teams  prepared an Expert Witness report. Potter and Zhivkova were each selected to represent their respective teams in the courtroom.

“We believe it is very important to provide real-world experiences to our students whenever possible,” Eining said of the trip to U.S. Bankruptcy Court. “The course is designed to simulate a real case as closely as possible, and was built based on actual cases.”

The mock trial not only gives the two students working as expert witnesses a unique experience, Eining said. It also provides the entire class wi