Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Future attorneys shine in mock trial competition

Lincoln High team

Lincoln and La Jolla high schools placed in the top 10 teams in the recent San Diego County High School Mock Trial Competition, sponsored by the San Diego County Bar Association.

Of the 26 schools that competed, Lincoln's team placed sixth and La Jolla seventh. Other San Diego Unified schools participating were Crawford, San Diego High School of International Studies, Scripps Ranch and University City high schools.

"The experience was rewarding and fulfilling," said Lincoln student Adrian Hernandez. "I felt a part of something bigger than myself with enough responsibility to stand out as well. It got me out of my shell.”
Lincoln advisor Ray Beattle saluted his future advocates.

"You can be proud that our students showed that they can compete against the most talented of teams, and finish in sixth place," he said. "Please congratulate the students if you have any of the students in your classes. They put in a lot of hours after school and on Saturdays, in preparing for this competition."

According to the Bar Association, more than 500 students in San Diego County and 8,000 statewide participated in the program this year.

The trial itself is a simulation of a criminal case, in which students portray each of the principals in the cast of courtroom characters. Student teams study a hypothetical case, conduct legal research, and receive guidance from volunteer attorneys in courtroom procedures and trial preparation. Students participate as lawyers, witnesses, court clerks, and bailiffs, thus acquiring a working knowledge of our judicial system.

Local attorneys coach the team; San Diego attorney Sallie Blackman worked with the Lincoln students.
“It was an honor and a privilege to coach such talented, enthusiastic, dedicated, and intelligent group of students,” she said.

The Mock Trial Competition Program encourages young people to develop their analytical abilities and communication skills while gaining increased self-confidence, says the association.The Mock Trial Competition program also allows students to develop the skills necessary for the mastery of state standards for history, social science and language arts.

Through performance-based education, the program furthers an understanding of both the content and processes of our legal system; increases basic skills, analytical ability, and self-confidence; and promotes cooperation among students of various cultures and interests. Based on responses to formal surveys, teacher-sponsors report significant improvement in students’ basic skills, critical thinking skills, presentations skills, participation skills, and self-esteem as well as increases in students’ content knowledge about the law.

For more information on the Lincoln students, contact Beattie at or the Bar Association at