The Feinberg & Waller Mock Trial Leadership Award
The Feinberg & Waller High School Leadership award/mentor program amplifies teen voice and action by highlighting one student each year who has made an impact on their team and community.
The mock trial program is an academic competition in which students acquire knowledge of the American judicial system. Students have the opportunity to experience the drama of the courtroom as they learn the importance of civic participation in a democratic society through values expressed in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights. The firm wishes to support students involved in the program who are leaders in their communities for they will be our future attorneys, judges, activists, and public figures.
The Los Angeles Constitutional Rights Foundation mock trial program is
a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation.
It is co-sponsored by:
- Daily Journal Corporation
- Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
- Los Angeles County Superior Court
Feinberg & Waller would like to award one recipient:
- Three (3) mentor sessions leading up to the LA County competition in November (either in person or through virtual communications).
- One (1) meeting with the recipient’s entire team before the LA County competition (either in person or through virtual communications).
- One (1) mentor session after the LA County competition for the recipient to ask any questions they may have, such as further advice on becoming a lawyer, what the field of law looks like, networking, establishing a resume, etc. (either in person or through virtual communications).
- If the team advances to the State competition, an additional meeting with the entire team will be offered if they so choose.
- $500 for expenses related to the competition (i.e., printed materials, courtroom attire, travel, food).
- An offer to the recipient for a college letter of recommendation.
- Leadership Award title for college applications and future resumes.
Please note, Marshall Waller and Lauren Waller are currently volunteer coaches for the Oaks Christian Mock Trial Team competing in Ventura County, California.
*Feinberg & Waller is constantly growing, self-educating, and learning when it comes to the nuances used to describe one’s race, ethnicity, or identity. For example, while we have chosen to use the term BIPOC, we understand this may not be your personal preference of language. When using that term, we use it to encompass the many varied and distinct Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, and Asian identities. If you feel misrepresented or underrepresented, please reach out with any concerns so we can reflect on our speech in the future.
Meet the 2022 Award Recipient: Darya Podeh
Ms. Podeh is a Viewpoint High School Junior and is mainly responsible for continuing the Mock Trial Program at Viewpoint High School. During her first two years on the Viewpoint Mock Trial team, Ms. Podeh served as an attorney and a pretrial attorney. However, Ms. Podeh’s commitment to learning about the law and developing her legal advocacy skills became most evident at the end of her Sophomore year.
When the school’s Mock Trial club sponsor announced they were stepping down, the team was left without a leader. However, Ms. Podeh was not discouraged. Over the summer leading into her Junior year, she demonstrated an unwavering dedication to assuming a leadership role and improving the Mock Trial program. Some of her notable activities included, but were not limited to, the conceptualization of lesson plans, audition schedules, execution of fundraising efforts, the establishment of club meetings, acquisition of new team members, and appointment of a faculty sponsor for Viewpoint’s new Mock Trial club.
Through Viewpoint’s newly founded Mock Trial club, Ms. Podeh has used her voice to advocate in various fields. The Viewpoint Mock Trial club has partnered with Viewpoint’s Gender Sexuality Alliance Club to discuss the discriminatory impact of legislation against members of the LGBTQ+ community on a global scale. Ms. Podeh plans to speak on a panel regarding the issue of systemic sexism and the extent to which American legislation reflects the archaic foundations of a patriarchal society.
Outside of school, Ms. Podeh works as a Youth Leader at the East LA Women’s Center. In this role, she organizes meetings and visits schools in East Los Angeles to educate on sexual assault awareness and the dangers of abusive relationships.
We are pleased to mentor Darya Podeh and highlight her dedication to her community.