March 01, 2012

2012 Diversity Pipeline Mock Trial–A Great Success!

February 25, 2012
  • 1L Charles Malmsten assisting a student with her cross examination.

On February 25, 2012 the Academic Enhancement Program hosted 85 middle school and high school students and 40 volunteers at its seventh-annual diversity pipeline mock trial event funded in part by the Law School Admissions Council to encourage law schools to establish “pipeline” events for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Practicing attorneys, led by volunteer trainer and Lewis & Clark Law alumnus Caroline Lobdell, coached the ten teams assisted by students from the law school and the college of arts and sciences. After a day of fast-paced preparation and practice rounds, students competed in five simultaneous mock trials on the important topic of cyberbullying. Students were chosen to participate in the program through TRiO, a federally funded program aimed at helping disadvantaged students attend college.

This mock trial is an important connection the Portland community and a meaningful way for Lewis & Clark alums and current students to contribute to the next generation.  A number of law firms and community organizations also helped out by donating items for the “swag bags” for the students.  We received donated items from Bullivant Houser Bailey, Davis Wright Tremaine, the Oregon State Bar, Westlaw, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, TRiO, Mount Hood Community College, Portland Community College, and the Bonneville Power Administration.

The Academic Enhancement Program partnered on this event with the College of Arts and Sciences—Shannon Mouzon, Zach Kearl, and Serena Ancheta were instrumental in recruiting undergraduate volunteers and fantastic tour guides, and Rasheid Light, the Associate Dean and Coordinator of Multicultural Admissions moderated our highly interactive college panel.  (So interactive that Rasheid could not get to even half of the students who had questions!)

The student and volunteer response was overwhelmingly positive, here are a few of the responses to this year’s program:  

Volunteer coach: “I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering for Saturday’s Middle/High School Mock Trial. The event was so well organized and the students were delightful. Thank you for coordinating this educational and entertaining learning opportunity.”

8th grader: This experience was “Encouraging… I really appreciated having the opportunity I had today to be able to participate in the activity. I liked being able to be a Closing and Opening speaker, it was very fun and I would not change a thing we learned and participated in! Thank you for the opportunity.”

9th grader: “This was a great experience. Thank you for answering my questions about law school and the law!”

Volunteer coach: “Congratulations on organizing an incredible mock trial experience last weekend. I really enjoyed working with the middle school students. They were smart and amazing.”

Please contact either JB Kim, Assistant Dean of Diversity & Academic Resources, or Heather McCambly, Assistant Director of Global & Diversity Initiatives, with questions or to express interest in getting involved with this event.