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Education

Central Coast students head to Riverside for statewide mock trial finals

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Flickr member Douglas Palmer
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Central Coast High School students are headed to Riverside on Friday to test their abilities in the courtroom. It's all part of the statewide California Mock Trial Finals.

San Marcos High School students in Santa Barbara are hoping to return with the winning trophy for the first time in nearly a decade. Those from Arroyo Grande High would like to bring it home to San Luis Obispo County for the first time ever.

But, no matter which California-based team wins this weekend, the students will walk away with tools for success later in life, according to their teachers.

Attorney Steve Dorsi leads the team at Arroyo Grande High and says it's difficult to find aspects of life that law doesn't touch. He asks his students each year to locate something in the classroom that doesn't have some sort of law behind it.

"The books the use have copyright law, the desks that they sit in, there is law that governs how the strength of the desk can be, how safe they can be, the liability, the lighting in the school," said Dorsi. "Everything in this world touches law and they'll get a little piece of that when they deal with it in terms of handling a case."

Attorney Eric Burrows says his San Marcos students express new found confidence after making it through the experience.

"I feel confident to stand up in any situation, in front of any group of adults, and be articulate, be myself, and be able to express what I am and what I'm thinking," Burrows said reflecting on how a student might talk about how the program has changed them.

36 teams will meet in Riverside, and only one winner will head to North Carolina for the U.S. Finals.

(In the interest of full transparency, Attorney Steve Dorsi sits on the KCBX Board of Directors.)