Nick Segura’s mother has been telling him since he was in the eighth grade that he should be a lawyer because of the way he argues with her.
Participating in Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Street Law program helped confirm mom was right.
“I love to argue with people,” Segura said. “Once I make a really good point with them and they see their argument was dumb, I get the biggest kick out of it.”
Segura, 17, a junior at Arroyo High School, was among about 100 high school juniors who were at SCE on Wednesday for the law department’s annual Street Law event, which exposes high school juniors to different aspects of the practice of law and provides a pipeline for traditionally underrepresented minorities and women for access to higher education.
Robert Kang, chair of the law department’s diversity committee who organized the Street Law event, said the opportunity to do community outreach drew him to the program, which operates at Rosemead High School, South El Monte High School and Arroyo High School in El Monte.
“One of the most important things a lawyer can do is inspire students to higher education, hopefully in the law. But if not that, to still go beyond high school,” Kang said. “It’s a lot of fun because these students have good heads on their shoulders.”
Luis Lanos, 17, a junior at Rosemead High, said he has wanted to be a lawyer since elementary school. He said watching TV crime shows sparked his interest in the career.
Lanos said his favorite part of the Street Law program is when the students simulated being at a law firm.
“It could be me in a couple of years, and that’s exciting,” Lanos said.
Araceli Cativo, 17, a junior at Arroyo High who was one of six students who won $500 in an essay contest, said she was most interested in the cyberbullying lesson.
“Saying something bad on social media can affect you for your whole life, and a lot of kids don’t know that and vent on social media,” Cativo said.
Participating in Street Law, Cativo said, opened her eyes to the law as a possible career. She is interested in the areas of practice that don’t involve courtroom work.
Andrea Tozer, an SCE lawyer who taught the students about cyberbullying, has worked with the Street Law program since she was in law school. Her favorite part is interacting with students.
“It’s fun to see them get engaged in things,” she said, “and discover areas of law they wouldn’t think would have a day-to-day impact.”