I am sixteen years old and a junior at Santa Susana High School. My first exposure to mock trial was in the sixth grade, and I have been fascinated by the legal system ever since. I have competed in seven mock trial competitions at the county and international level, and I coached a middle school mock trial team during my freshman year. I am also involved with city government and local politics in addition to mock trial.
My experience with mock trial caused me to develop a speaking style that lacked variation and habits that were difficult to break. I noticed immediate improvements to my presentation skills because of Advocacy Battles. Being forced to give a coherent and structured speech on a random topic for a set amount of time is like learning to swim by being thrown in the deep end — intimidating but immensely beneficial. The refinement of my advocacy also led to a sense of growing confidence. It didn’t take long to feel the effects of Advocacy Battles in my personal life; I became more capable and comfortable with advocating for issues within my city.
Additionally, Project Advocacy provided a much-need introduction to the vast world of civil law and the many niches it contains. Mock trial rarely provides more than a brief glimpse into the realm of civil law, which is why the exposure I gained from Project Advocacy was so invaluable. I learned about the complicated processes behind discovery, the business side of law, and a whole glossary of legal terms. I had the opportunity to communicate with potential clients and summarize real depositions. I witnessed how litigation and mediation can be meaningful instruments for obtaining justice. All of this knowledge and experience has lead me to consider a possible future career in the field.
Beyond cultivating my interest in civil law and boosting my advocacy and confidence, Project Advocacy further solidified my passion for law and has better equipped me to be successful and spark change within my community. Thank you to DK and my mentors, Hunter and Elisabet, for making Project Advocacy a profoundly impactful experience.
My name is Ashley Kilmnick and I’m an incoming senior at Simi Valley High School. I’ve been heavily involved in mock trial since my sophomore year at Simi High, taking on both witness and attorney roles. I’m also very involved in Girl Scouts, Youth Council, and Cross Country/Track. I entered this internship with little to no knowledge about the legal field. I was torn between a career in law and medicine, and desperately wanted to gain insight into the legal world. My time at DK Law Group has significantly shifted my perspective and career path that I want to take as I’m now much more interested in pursuing a career in the legal field.
Project Advocacy has expanded my knowledge about civil law exponentially. I’ve learned about the discovery process as well as gained valuable insight into various cases. This internship gave me an experience that has significantly improved my public speaking skills. Although I came into this internship with some mock trial experience, my time on mock trial was spent googling legal terms and trying to piece together cases with my teammates. I lacked a mentor to teach me about the legal field. Project Advocacy has given me a glimpse into what the legal field actually is, whilst helping me become a better advocate. I have been forced out of my comfort zone, leading me to try new things and learn from my mistakes. I’ve learned to be a more spontaneous and persuasive speaker as a result of constantly implementing the feedback I received from my mentors. This internship has drastically improved my confidence as a speaker and pushed me to continue to think outside of the box and step out of my comfort zone.
This summer, DK Law Group has had a tremendous impact on helping me grow as a person. This internship has instilled in me an abundance of knowledge as well as a sense of maturity. I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for being given the privilege to participate in this program. I look forward to using the skills I learned here as I embark on my career path. Thank you to our mentors Hunter and Elisabet for helping develop my advocacy skills and being a source of knowledge and guidance throughout the program. Thank you to our guest speakers and mentors for giving me a unique perspective on the many facets of the legal field. Thank you to my fellow interns for your endless support and allowing me to learn from your unique perspectives. Finally, thank you to DK Law Group and Creative Dispute Resolution for this wonderful opportunity!
My name is Neha Davaluri. I am 17 years old and I am a rising senior at Santa Susana High School in Simi Valley. I have been heavily involved in mock trial since middle school, continuing throughout high school, and have competed at the county, national, as well as international level. Through both the Ventura County and Empire competition, I have been exposed to numerous cases relating to both criminal and civil practice. However, the past eight weeks at DK Law Group significantly widened my perspective beyond the world of make-believe cases. This program has given me a greater understanding of the legal field in every way from gaining experience working in a real law firm to understanding the business side of law. DK Law Group has provided me with valuable knowledge and skills to be successful in my pursuit of a legal career.
Project Advocacy 2020 has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Through mock trial, I became very used to speaking from a script and putting on a performance every time I spoke. Project Advocacy taught me how to break away from those habits, and the improvements I have made in my speaking skills are already evident. Being forced to speak on the spot with all eyes on me about topics I had little to no knowledge of was incredibly nerve-wracking but in hindsight, my favorite part of this program. This summer I learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and use it to my advantage. I now consider myself a more confident speaker, and I can use the skills I have gained here in the real world because strong advocacy skills are helpful in all walks of life.
My time here at DK Law Group has had a greater impact on my life than I can put into words. Being able to read depositions for active cases, review medical records, and answer the phones are all such unique opportunities that I never thought I would get to do before graduating high school! From the friendships I built with my fellow interns, to the amazing wisdom I have gained from the numerous guest mentors and speakers, to the legal lectures with David Karen himself, I have had such an enriching and motivating summer. None of this would have been possible without Hunter and Elisabet, who have been such inspiring mentors, and DK for putting on this program. Ultimately, this experience has helped me grow as a young advocate.
My name is Monie Choi, and I am an incoming senior at Oakwood School. Although I have been in Mock Trial for a little over a year, I attribute most of my interest in law and advocacy to my experience in debate. From competing at National Circuit debate tournaments, I have developed a very argumentative speaking style, which my internship experience at DK Law Group has shaped to have a more persuasive element. Refining my advocacy style, though, is just one aspect of what my internship at DK has helped me with. More importantly, DK has provided me with the rare opportunity to walk in the shoes of real litigators, giving me new insight into what being a lawyer actually means. Before entering this internship, I had a vague interest in the legal field, but did not know very much about the process of becoming a lawyer or the details of what lawyers do on a day-to-day basis.
As such, Project Advocacy 2020 has granted me an incredible opportunity to learn more about the legal profession and where I fit into it. From interviewing guest mentors to working on deposition summaries for real, active cases, I now am more confident in wanting to go into the field of civil law. Not only has interning at DK Law Group made me more confident in my career path, this experience has also pushed me out of my comfort zone by always keeping me on my toes, ready to deliver a speech and advocate at any given moment. Although this year’s internship took place during unprecedented times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the determination of my mentors to continue on with this internship has proved to me how much the staff at DK Law Group wants to see its interns succeed. I am incredibly thankful for the experience and mentorship that DK Law Group has provided me, and I am eager to begin applying the skills that I learned from this internship to my everyday life.