Students from San Francisco’s Lowell High School recently won the regional Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial Competition and placed sixth in the statewide mock trial competition.
The impressive showing by the Lowell Cardinals was due to their dedication, preparation and a little help from a coach with a rich background in legal advocacy. The Lowell mock trial coach is Doris Cheng, a Lowell alumna and a personal injury attorney at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, one of San Francisco’s premier personal injury law firms.
The 18-member mock trial team met for two hours every week at the downtown law firm’s offices and received coaching and guidance from some of San Francisco’s top trial lawyers. Guiding the Lowell mock trial program is just one of the many ways the attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger give back to the San Francisco community and nurture California’s next generation of excellent attorneys.
“Our program is based upon the type of advocacy training program that is utilized around the world by trial judges and lawyers,” Ms. Cheng said. “The mock trial students argue motions and try the case before real judges and legal giants – the successes and failures under these conditions are just like actual trial conditions.”
In addition to serving as a personal injury attorney, Doris Cheng is an adjunct professor and frequent lecturer who has been recognized for her legal work by numerous national publications such as Super Lawyers ®, Best Lawyers of America ® and San Francisco Best Lawyers. Ms. Cheng is also listed among the top 50 female lawyers in Northern California and as one of the top Minority 40 Under 40 in the National Law Journal.
Ms. Cheng’s passion for developing new legal talent also manifests itself in her work as the program director for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Western Region Advocacy Teacher Training Program and her service with the Rule of Law Initiative, for which she taught trial lawyers in Northern Ireland, Mexico, Macedonia and Kosovo.
As a loyal alumna of Lowell High School, Ms. Cheng has also coached the Lowell High School summer league basketball team. She has coached the mock trial team for several years and sees her service to her alma mater as a way to encourage California’s future legal advocates.
“These Lowell students are unquestionably some of the brightest young minds in the country – they are self-motivated, hardworking and intelligent,” Ms. Cheng said. “But most importantly, they are honest and kind-hearted. These characteristics are critical to developing a cadre of ethical and zealous professionals who will change the world.”
Doris Cheng has been a member of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger since 1998 and handles a variety of personal injury cases, including medical malpractice, wrongful death, premises liability and product liability.