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Project LEAD

May 17, 2013

On May 17, the United States Attorney’s Office again hosted a class of fifth grade students from the Utah Street Elementary School in Central Los Angeles as part of an ongoing program known as Project LEAD (“Legal Education and Decision-Making”). The 30 students participated in a complete "mock" trial before United States District Judge S. James Otero at the United States Courthouse in Los Angeles. Judge Otero presided over the hour-long criminal jury trial which represented the summation of the students’ year-long course of studies in the justice system. A team made up entirely of Assistant United States Attorneys from the Central District of California, Kevin Rosenberg, Jennifer Williams, Nick Trutanich, Martin Estrada, Robyn Bacon, Ben Barron and David Kirman, were the instructors for the class. For the trial, Utah Street students played all the roles, including the prosecuting and defense lawyers, the witnesses, the bailiff, the jury members and even the accused, and they were proctored throughout by the AUSAs. During the course of the year-long class, the students worked closely with the AUSAS, met FBI special agents and other local law enforcement professionals, and studied all aspects of the criminal justice system. At the conclusion of the May 17 trial, United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. offered congratulations to the class, and handed out Project LEAD graduation certificates to the students. He also hosted a pizza lunch for the students in the Daniel S. Goodman Conference Room at the United States Attorney’s Office where he and the AUSA proctors talked with the students about the benefits of an education and future careers in the law and law enforcement.

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Updated January 27, 2017