Angie Evans met Atticus Finch, and her life’s path was set. Like Atticus, Angie plans to become an attorney, and it was toward that end that she traveled to Stanford University in California this past summer to attend a three-week seminar of sorts called Envision Law and Trial. For twelve days Angie and her group members worked on their upcoming trial.
“We had college students who led our groups and from those groups, we broke into defense and prosecution. I was an attorney for the defense. Of course, it was a mock trial with a made up case and evidence on both sides.
“Our case involved a guy who had gone to a bar to attend the birthday party of a friend. Of course, he was drinking that night, but he drank less than the others. At the end of the party, his friend insisted that he drive three of their friends to their homes.
“The road he took was very dark, and he was almost on top of a deer in the road when he saw it. The man swerved to miss the deer, lost control, and hit a tree, killing one of the girls who was riding with him.
“The prosecution had to prove that without a doubt that he was driving recklessly while
our defense was that everyone knew that no one was sober enough to drive, and they still got into the vehicle with him.”
Taking a cue from the O.J. Simpson trial, Angie’s group decided that they needed a slogan that would stick. What did they choose and use every single time they could?
The drinks were stronger than usual.
The weather was worse than usual.
The pressure to get her home was stronger than usual because the dead girl was the daughter of the district attorney.
“We had law seminars every day with Stanford professors, and we prepared for the trial for twelve days. On day twelve, we went to the Supreme Court building where we faced a real judge, who heard our arguments. We presented the evidence just like it was a real trial, with opening statements, closing statements and arguments in the middle.”
Angie’s group of defenders won. The judge was very complimentary, telling them how much he liked their points, the way they used the evidence, and the fact that they were very professional in their demeanor. Out of about 300 other students, they were rated as the number one defense team.
From Stanford, Angie joined a group of students at Berkley for another 3-4 days, where they toured the campus, went to Chinatown and Little Italy, visited Alcatraz, and attended a Giants game.
“Alcatraz was a dream come true for me because I have studied about it so much. I guess because I know the history of it, I was actually able to feel how prisoners there might have felt. They closed the doors on us, and it was pitch black. It was a feeling of total hopelessness until they opened those doors again.”
Of course, it was a wonderful experience for the young woman from Comanche, Texas, but Angie admitted that it certainly was not what she had expected before she arrived.
“At Stanford, we stayed in dorms with no air conditioner, and 160 girls shared two showers. And then, my roommate was from China and spoke no English!”
But that wasn’t what bothered her the most. No, what was most upsetting to Angie Evans was the irresponsibility of the students around her, both college students and high school students.
“It was very, very different. We were just high school kids, and our leaders were college kids, and there were problems with people hooking up and getting drunk.”
And yet, she certainly believes that it was a very beneficial trip.
“The interacting with other kids was not great, but getting to go to Stanford and hearing those professors was amazing. I did meet a girl from Florida and a couple of guys who were responsible, but most brought their alcohol with them, and it was a party every night.
“My favorite part of the experience was hearing the advice of one law professor: ‘If your heart isn’t totally into helping people, then you do not need to go into law.’
“It was obvious that a lot of the kids did not agree, that they were going into law for the money or for the fame. For me, the whole trip was worth it just to know that there are at least some lawyers who want to make a difference in the lives of people…just like I do.”
And to think that every bit of this came about because Angie Evans met Atticus Finch…