The Future is Being Built Now
Santa Cruz County Trial Lawyers Association supports local schools with programs designed to introduce youth to trial law. We are proud to be a part of a community of trial lawyers who are committed to getting out of the courtroom to support programs designed to enrich the education and experience of our local youth.
Cookie Court gives local 5th graders the unique opportunity to put on a trial at the courthouse with the help of volunteer trial attorney teachers. Students represent “Danny Defendant” in a criminal trial, playing the roles of all of the people involved in a criminal case, from the prosecutor and defense attorney to the clerk and bailiff. SCCTLA supports Cookie Court by collaborating with the Santa Cruz County of Education to provide administrative support, attorney teachers, and resources.
Mock Trial gives local high school students the chance to prepare and perform a criminal trial at the courthouse with the help of volunteer trial attorney coaches and scorers. By putting together a criminal trial, students gain a working knowledge of the judicial system, develop analytical and communication skills, and learn the importance of participating in civil society. Top performers have the chance to compete in the statewide Mock Trial competition. SCCTLA supports Mock Trial by organizing attorney coaches and scorers and collaborating to provide administrative support, awards, and resources.
These programs rely on volunteer trial attorneys to coach Mock Trial teams and score competitions and serve as attorney teachers for Cookie Court. Each year, dozens of volunteer trial lawyers share their love of trial law with students throughout Santa Cruz County. Students benefit from volunteers’ mentorship, expertise, and real-world courtroom experience. Volunteers get the chance to make new connections in the community, bring the courtroom to the classroom, and help guide the next generation of trial lawyers.