By Karen Billing
A student-created Law Club at Canyon Crest Academy is looking for local attorneys to come visit their lunchtime meetings and talk about their profession. At a recent meeting, members listed the types of lawyers whose legal minds they’d like to pick: Naval law, immigration law, family abuse law, corporate law, district attorney or judge, law school graduate, law professor, injury law and divorce law.
“I’m looking for lawyers to tell about what they do, the benefits and the downfalls, because for a lot of kids it’s hard to know what kind of law they want to go into,” said Law Club founder Tara Murphy.
Some members of the club, such as Tara and her vice president Akeel Najimudeen, are already set on what kind of law they’d like to practice: Tara is most interested in criminal law and Akeel aims to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis and become a JAG (Judge Advocate General) lawyer.
Tara, a junior, has known she wanted to be a lawyer since she was in the fourth grade.
A friend of her mother’s was a lawyer and she grew intrigued hearing about his work, and as a devoted “Law and Order” viewer, she loved all the different cases presented on the show.
Teachers often praised her skills in arguing on topics she believed in and as a freshman became involved in speech and debate.
“I’m really motivated and if I feel something is right, I try to defend it to the best of my abilities,” said Tara.
Tara has been working on starting the club since last year, finding out that a lot of work went into partnering with San Diego’s Teen Court. Teen Court is a juvenile division program that trains students to serve as peer jurors for youth convicted of minor crimes. The jurors meet with the accused youth and determine sentencing or restitution, be it letters of apology, reimbursing for stolen items or community service.
Tara was able to connect with Teen Court and representatives came out to train Law Club members as teen jurors last month. She hopes club members will work their way up to serving as student attorneys.
Tara is also looking to start a Mock Trial team at CCA.
In addition to Law Club, Tara keeps busy taking AP courses, playing three sports (soccer, lacrosse and water polo) and works several jobs, her main one being at Pizza Port. She is also very involved in philanthropic activities, including organizing school-wide donation drives for the homeless.
If you’re an attorney interested in helping out the CCA Law Club, contact Tara at firstname.lastname@example.org.