In June, SVUDL students and staff attended a research workshop at White and Case in Palo Alto, led by Senior Researcher Joyce Bang, partner and current SVUDL Legal Advisory Committee member Eric Lancaster, Associate Hallie Kiernan, and several summer law associates.
Using next year's national high school policy debate topic of arms sales as a foundation, the White and Case team showed SVUDL students and coaches best practices on how to effectively leverage the LexisNexis platform to find timely, relevant, and credible sources of information. The students honed their skills searching for information on items like foreign military sales and direct commercial sales of arms. They also explored free online resources to augment the arguments they will be making during the next debate season.
The group also had the opportunity to meet special guest speaker Josh Becker. Josh talked about his experiences as a lawyer, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and prospective state senator. He shared how his experiences as a debater in high school helped build valuable, lifelong skills such as critical thinking, extemporaneous speaking, and collaboration that were all vital to his career paths.
Josh talked about the value of taking risks and learning from challenges and failures. He conveyed how he applies those specific skills to advance his specific passions, including improving the state's education and transportation systems, and the need to address climate change.
Thank you to the White and Case team for sharing their expertise. This support will strengthen all of our students to become leaders and help to shift expectations of what low-income youth can achieve.