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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

High School Debater Turned Lawyer Chairs Mock Trial Committee to Give Back

Join Kimberly Taylor as a volunteer

 

Kimberly Taylor is the chair of BASF’s Barristers Mock Trial Committee which along with BASF’s diversity department organizes, hosts, and administers the Mock Trial Program for San Francisco’s public schools. BASF’s Jayne Salinger asked Taylor a few questions.

Jayne Salinger [JS]: What is your area of practice? What is your interest in this area and where are you currently practicing?

Kimberly Taylor [KT]: I specialize in trust, estate, probate and fiduciary litigation at Carr McClellan in Burlingame. It is a fascinating area of practice: the substance of the law itself is interesting and engaging; the fact patterns are unique; and it gives me an opportunity to play the role of both “counselor” and “advocate.”

JS: Why are you involved in the Mock Trial Program?Kimberly Taylor

KT: I joined the debate team as a high school freshman and then continued on to join the varsity debate and mock trial teams in college and the moot court and mock trial teams in law school. These experiences were available to me only due to the hard work of countless volunteers, so I have committed myself to giving back.

Our coaching community represents the very best of the San Francisco Bay Area legal profession—talented professionals in their own right, they take time out of their busy schedules to volunteer because they are dedicated to their community and believe in their students. It is a privilege to be involved with this group.

JS: As chair of BASF’s Mock Trial Program, what are your goals for 2012 and beyond?

KT: We are always looking to grow and improve our program. We have added one new school each year for the three past years I have been involved. We are also looking to deepen the experiences of our members through additional training and networking activities.

JS: What role do you believe the Mock Trial Program can play in diversifying the legal community?

KT: The Mock Trial Program specifically targets diverse and underserved communities. In one of our schools, mock trial is the only extracurricular activity offered; in others, the majority of students speak English as a second language. The program gives our students an opportunity to develop important public speaking and analytical skills. Our goal is to change the students’ perception of the law. We want our students to realize that they have the talent and ability to become attorneys themselves.

JS: What advantages do you believe the mock trial students have in preparing for college?

KT: Mock trial students develop writing and presentation skills. We have heard from several students that participating in the program has increased their confidence. The students also look up to their coaches as mentors and role models.

JS: How can attorneys volunteer for the mock trial program?

KT: Attorneys can volunteer as coaches or as scorers at our regional tournament. We also depend on financial contributions from law firms and individuals to cover everything from registration fees to transportation for our students. We very much appreciate any and all support.

 

To learn more, attorneys can contact Jareem Gunter at jgunter@sfbar.org.

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