“Youth in Court Day” Returns to North County Courthouse

Topics to Include Stories from Drug Court, Teen Issues

Feb 26, 2024
North County Courthouse

The San Diego Superior Court’s North County Courthouse will host 750 students for Youth in Court Day to talk about modern issues and their legal consequences. Following a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular event returns for its 20th edition on Friday, March 1, 2024. The event is sponsored by the North County Division of the San Diego Superior Court in conjunction with the North County Bar Association and The Lawyer Referral Service.

More than 750 students are expected to attend the day-long event where they will be introduced to the court system to learn about present-day problems and the criminal cases that can result from not handling those problems appropriately.

North County attorneys will collaborate with judges and court staff to meet with students and discuss how the judicial system operates. In addition, students will be exposed to career opportunities in legal systems and law enforcement. 

Youth in Court Day kicks off with morning mock trial sessions tailored for elementary and middle school students. High school students will attend a spotlight presentation of “Stories from Drug Court” to hear from drug court participants who have been through the criminal justice system and who are now on the long and challenging road towards recovery. Afternoon sessions for high school students include:

  • Dating violence - students will observe a mock trial scenario using a recent high-profile case. Students will observe a victim of domestic violence testify on the stand, and they will learn the complexities of testifying against a significant other. 
  • Sex trafficking - students will learn about the dangers of human trafficking, the prevalence of human trafficking among San Diego’s teenage population, how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, and take action against it.
  • Social media bullying - students will learn firsthand how our criminal justice system works by participating in a mock trial of a case involving bullying and social media posts about a fellow student’s sexual orientation. Students will take on the roles of the prosecutor, defense attorney, witnesses, and jury.
  • Legal careers - students will hear from attorneys practicing family, criminal, and civil law. They will describe their work and host a Q&A session at the end of the presentation. 
  • Teen dating abuse red flags - students will learn to recognize the red flags of control, intimidation, and abuse at all stages of a relationship. Students will also receive tips and resources to help themselves or a friend who may be in an abusive relationship.

Youth in Court Day, which received a National Community Outreach Award from the American Bar Association in 2005, has attracted more than 10,000 students since its inception.