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Mock Trial Program Serves Up Winners

Balboa High School Mock Trial Team with Scorers and Judges

Mock Trial Volunteers


The Justice & Diversity Center’s high school mock trial program regional competition was held in mid-February at San Francisco Superior Court. This interscholastic competition includes teams representing seven high schools and one non-profit college readiness organization. The teams included Academy of Arts & Sciences, Balboa, Lincoln, Lowell, Mission, School of the Arts and Thurgood Marshall high schools and the College Track program.

United States Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore presided over the final round between Balboa and Lowell high schools in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Federal Courthouse for the Northern District of California.

The winner, Balboa, went on to represent San Francisco in the Constitutional Rights Foundation state final in Riverside, California. The Balboa team performed admirably and went 2-2.

According the Balboa team coach Quinn Arntsen from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, “Everyone genuinely enjoyed working together while preparing for the county and state competitions. Balboa’s mock trial team included a great group of students who put in the extra time to perfect their roles and support their teammates. Their effort culminated in a memorable trip to Riverside where Balboa represented San Francisco with enthusiasm.”

Attorney volunteers coach students tirelessly for several months on the fundamentals of persuasive public speaking and evidence advocacy. The students play both attorneys and witnesses.
The program was created to help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system and develop analytical abilities and communication skills. Students gain confidence and often open their eyes to the possibilities offered by college, law school, and a career in law.

Anissa Zaitsu, a senior on the Balboa team was awarded a college scholarship in part due to her role as captain of the team. As her admissions notice from American University noted: “Your role as captain of your mock trial team is impressive. You understand the importance of leading by example, and that is why we want you at American University.”

Although Balboa did not take home the championship, they did win the coveted school cheer contest at the State Championships, proving what we already knew: San Francisco has the best spirit and style in California!

Congratulations to all of the students and coaches!

To see a complete list of the Mock Trial committee, sponsors and coaches, please visit

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