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Celia Janes Awarded 2016 Mock Trial Scholarship for Future Law Students

Every year, Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP presents the $500 Mock Trial Scholarship to one incoming freshman. This year, high school senior Celia Janes of El Modena High School in Orange, California was the winner. We at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP were impressed with her previous experience, in addition to her academic and community work. 

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Celia’s track record speaks for herself. She joined her school’s mock trial team when she was just 15 after hearing her friends and her history teacher talking about it. Celia auditioned to be an attorney, and her performance was impressive: she ended up as a “prosecutor” in a second-degree murder case. During the pretrial, she argued that the search was legal under the Fourth Amendment.

As this was her first ever “trial,” Celia was nervous, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, her nervousness turned into timidity, and she ended up losing the case. However, she took the loss in stride and became part of her motivation. It fueled her passion for law and inspired her to study history so so she could attend law school and have a successful career as an attorney. In addition, it taught her to rely on her team as a source of confidence, both in mock trial and the real world.

Looking to the Future

Celia’s first brush with mock trials was in 2013. That year, they lost all four of their competitions. This year, they have expanded to two teams, competed in two competitions and also competed in the Orange County Octafinals in December 2015. They only lost their last competition by two points. And for pretrial, she won every single verdict.

In her pursuit to study law, Celia has been accepted into Pepperdine University, USC, UCLA, UCI, UCSD, Santa Clara University, Chapman University and SMU. She was also wait listed at Vanderbilt and Rice. Of all of these opportunities, she will most likely attend either USC or UCLA. After she gains her undergraduate degree, she wants of attend Stanford Law School.

The Impact of Law

Celia wants to focus on environmental law. She believes that our environment is important for all aspects of life, and must be protected at all costs. However, she says she is disheartened by the fact that environmental lawyers earn little money, although their job is incredibly important for our health and well-being. She would like to see the field of environmental law become more prestigious to encourage more people to care about our planet.

More importantly, she wants to be an attorney to improve the lives of those around her. She believes that this career will allow her to challenge herself while having a sustainable impact on her community. Part of the impact she wants to have on her community is dealing with the cost of higher education. Because most Americans cannot afford current tuition prices, it is difficult for many people to learn more and work in professional fields.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.