Mission Statement:

Internal Trial Team is a student-run group with the goal of providing more trial litigation experience to Santa Clara Law Students. The Internal Trial Team will host a competition every year which will include seminars, mentorships, and the opportunity to network with local attorneys and judges. The Internal Trial Team Board will provide a fact pattern, present seminars, set-up mentorships, and schedule at least three rounds of competition.

2019 – 2020 Officers:

Co-President Marlene Isied misied@scu.edu
Co-President Kim Sparrer ksparrer@scu.edu
Vice President Bianca Garcia bgarcia@scu.edu
Secretary Farouq Ghazzawi fghazzawi@scu.edu
Treasurer Mary Clare Molina mmolina@scu.edu

Letter From Founders, Fall 2017:

Our names are Tessa Stephenson and Tereza Guzman. We are third-year law students at Santa Clara University and are starting a new project this Fall at Santa Clara Law: an internal Mock Trial Competition called Internal Trial Team.

We have been members of the competitive Mock Trial Team at Santa Clara for the past year. We have competed against other schools, gained realistic trial experience, and received feedback from experienced legal professionals. This opportunity has enhanced our advocacy and education at SCU Law.

Unfortunately, the competitive trial team is only available to twelve students at a time. This means that many students who want mock trial experience at SCU have no opportunity to compete in their three years of law school. During tryouts for the 2017-2018 competitive mock trial team, we saw 35 talented individuals turned away simply due to the lack of room on the team. Most of these students expressed an interest in pursuing legal careers that require courtroom advocacy.

This is what prompted our current endeavor. We believe that every law student who wants to become a trial attorney should have the invaluable opportunity to develop their courtroom presence. On the Internal Trial Team, second- and third-year SCU law students will experience a realistic courtroom competition.

Throughout three rounds of competition, students will perform an opening statement, direct and cross examination, and closing argument in front of scorers. Competitors will improve public speaking, build confidence in their courtroom skills, and receive constructive feedback from community lawyers and judges. This Fall, we have 36 competitors who will compete in front of the board, local attorneys, and local judges.

Through this program, we hope to establish a unique learning opportunity at Santa Clara University for law students interested in litigation and advocacy. We are working on making this program sustainable for years to come. To learn about how you can help with this mission, please read the “How can I Help” section below. For any other questions about this project, feel free to reach out to Tereza Guzman (Tguzman@scu.edu) or Tessa Stephenson (Tstephenson@scu.edu)


Tereza Guzman & Tessa Stephenson
Co-Founders & Co-Presidents of Internal Trial Team

How Can I Help:

To make this effort successful in its first year, we are seeking assistance from the local legal community. If you are interested in helping, there are two primary ways we need assistance. First, we would like students to receive feedback from attorneys and judges in the semi-final and final rounds of the competition. If you are available to help out on Saturday, October 14, or Saturday, October 28, in either the morning or afternoon, please let us know. We would greatly appreciate your time and expertise.

Finally, there is a financial need for this program to run successfully. In addition to logistical costs to run the event, our goal is to reward the prevailing team with a cash prize. We want to motivate teams to perform at their highest capabilities. Therefore, we are requesting monetary donations from SCU alumni and the local legal community. If you are supportive of SCU Law providing more advocacy skills training options for the students, we would appreciate donations, of any amount. The following page contains instructions on how to volunteer and/or donate.

Please help us launch this program to enhance the Santa Clara Law education. We are happy to answer any questions about the organization.

We thank you in advance for your consideration and generosity.

To make a donation online please go to https://mysantaclara.scu.edu/givenow?designation=Santa%20Clara%20Law

In “Special Instructions,” please write “Internal Trial Team 21105-LSORG-SS-TRLTM

To make a donation by check:

Make the check payable to Santa Clara University

In the memo line please write “Law School: Internal Trial Team

Send to the Santa Clara Law Alumni Relations Office at:

Santa Clara University School of Law
Law Alumni Relations
Law Development
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053-0445

Active Member Organization, Student Bar Association 2019-2020