Pre-Law Magnet Students Experience Mock Trial at Chapman University

Mock Trial session held at the Chapman University Law School
Mock Trial session held at the Chapman University Law School

By Eric Stroupe, Vice Principal

JSerra’s Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program students traveled to Chapman Law School to participate in a mock trial.  Chapman Law School generously donated the use of their mock trial courtroom at the university.

Several legal professionals volunteered their time to show the students what a real jury trial looked like from beginning to end.  The volunteer participants included a retired superior court commissioner, a San Diego deputy district attorney, a San Diego alternate public defender, a superior court bailiff, an Anaheim police officer, and an Anaheim assistant city attorney.   Lastly, our very own senior Monika Patel played the role of the defendant who allegedly stole a plush toy from Disneyland.  Imagine, someone stealing from the Mouse.

JSerra law magnet students played the role of prospective jurors who heard the case.  The trial included jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examination for both the prosecution and defense cases, jury deliberations and the final verdict.  Jury deliberations were quite spirited and could be heard through the jury deliberation room door.

This seminar is a prelude to the Spring semester mock trial competition the students will train for and participate in during April and May.  During the Spring competition, law magnet prosecution and defense teams will go head to head against each other during their own mock trial.  Instead of watching the key players conduct the trial, they will be playing the roles of the key players.  There will be four trials with the students being able to play multiple roles.  It promises to be challenging, interesting and great fun.

Business Magnet Students Spend an Evening with Mickey

JSerra Business Magnet Program students before they head to UCI for the Distingushed Speakers Series
JSerra Business Magnet Program students before they head to UCI for the Distingushed Speakers Series

By Matt Lemas, JSerra Business Magnet

The JSerra Business Magnet Program traveled with over 35 members to UCI to attend the first of the college’s 2012-2013 Distinguished Speaker Series.  Headlining this event was president of the Disneyland Resort, George Kalogridis.

Located in the campuses’ Irvine Barclay Theatre, the students were greeted to a spectacle that could only be expected from the happiest place on earth.

Mickey Mouse and his helpers danced down the aisles of the lecture hall, performing on stage before the arrival of the speaker. The students were not expecting such a performance, and were pleased by the surprise. “ I sat down and all of a sudden Mickey Mouse came skipping out of no where. I felt like I was at Disneyland…it was incredible,” said JSerra senior John McCarthy.

After the initial performance was over, George Kalogridis began his presentation, which proved no less engaging. Kalogridis covered the major transformation of the Disneyland  California Adventure Park over the last few years, and how it stemmed from the support and critique of the Disneyland guests and employees alike.

Mickey Mouse ears light up the bus as the students excitement carries on the way home.
Mickey Mouse ears light up the bus as the students excitement carries on the way home.

Following Kalogridis’ speech, students were asked to reach under their seat where they found a unique version of the Mickey Mouse hat. Once put on, the guests were all treated to a light show emitting from the Mickey ears, showcasing the room in color, to end the night on a magical note.

Law Magnet Information Night

Join JSerra and Pre-Law Magnet Advisor Patrick Ahle for an introduction to JSerra’s newest Magnet Program for those interested in law.

When: Monday, August 13 at 6 p.m.

Where: JSerra Library, located in building two

Who: All those interested in law

Click here for Law Magnet info.

To apply download the form here. 

For more information please contact Eric Stroupe at


JSerra Catholic High School Announces New Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program

Patrick Ahle, Former Prosecutor and JSerra Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program Advisor

*A press release from  JSerra Catholic High School  

July 5, 2012—(San Juan Capistrano, CA)—JSerra Catholic High School announces the launch of the Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program (PLPMP), the third of its kind at JSerra.

The addition of the schools third Magnet Program comes after the success of the rigorous Business and Pre-Medical Magnet Programs.

JSerra’s law-specific courses will be taught by a Chapman Law School adjunct professor, Patrick Ahle, who has over 20 years of experience as a prosecutor and has also served as a volunteer judge pro tem.

“Students completing the key law courses offered by the Law Magnet Program will be better prepared prior to their arrival at their law school of choice,” said Patrick Ahle, former prosecutor and JSerra PLPMP advisor.

“The first year of law school is considered one of the most difficult graduate school years. Completing the pre-law program in high school will assist the students in their transition from undergraduate to graduate school. Being better prepared will give them a tremendous advantage over other incoming law school students,” said Ahle.

Students enrolled in the Law Magnet will be required to take courses in criminal law, contract law, trial advocacy, leadership, honors English, and constitutional law. Students will also participate in speech and debate.

Chapman Law School has also generously made available their Mock Court facilities to allow JSerra’s PLPMP students an authentic litigation experience. Additionally, Dr. John Eastman, the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law and Community Service and former Dean of Chapman Law School, will serve as a faculty advisor for the program.

“With the addition of the Pre-Law Magnet Program we hope to better prepare our students for a career in law. Under the direction of two successful attorneys both will bring an experienced hand to help guide the students in the program, bringing a real-world opportunity directly to the students,” said JSerra Vice Principal, Eric Stroupe.

An informational meeting is set to be held Thursday, July 12 at 6 p.m. in the JSerra Center Room.

About the Law Magnet Program

The mission of the Pre-Law Magnet Program is the development of analytical and critical thinking skills, along with an understanding of the ethical role lawyers play in society. The program will provide students with an instructional curriculum and practicum to allow each student to apply their knowledge in a hands-on platform. The program will incorporate the core values of JSerra including faith, integrity, pursuit of excellence, and a commitment to service.

About JSerra Catholic High School
Just nine years old, JSerra Catholic High School has grown into one of the region’s top university preparatory institutions. Its graduates include National Merit Scholarship winners, Ivy League university students, Division I collegiate athletes and young adults committed to being a positive force in their communities. Located in San Juan Capistrano, the school features $110-million facilities, including a state-of-the-art $40 million athletic complex. For more, visit

Michael Nowicki Named Scholar Athlete by OC Varsity


A key member for the Lions golf team, Michael Nowicki has also been a standout in his academics and around the school community. Nowicki is currently taking Intro to Philosophy, AP English/Language Composition, AP American Government/Politics, Intro to Film, Physics, Calculus, and Fundamentals and Principals of Radiographic Imaging.

Nowicki is a member of the school’s Habitat for Humanity Club, and is member of the National Honors Society and the California Scholastic Federation, with a 4.40 GPA.

Nowicki is also affiliated with the school’s Pre-Medical Professional Magnet Program, and will attend University of California Los Angeles next fall.

Business Magnet Attends FBLA Sectionals

 JSerra’s Business Magnet Students had the opportunity to attend their first  Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Southern Section Leadership conference at Fullerton College.

Guest speakers at the event included, Nathan Nguyen, a entrepreneur and former FBLA member who became a millionaire while he was an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California, and Gahram Kand, owner and founder of the Law Offices of Gahram Kang, a Professional Law Corporartion.

The students’ hard work and dedication throughout the year paid off, resulting in 17 medalists, and three competitors that will move on to the state competitions April 19- 22 in Irvine. Competing in the team event category of entrepreneurship, Zach Wonzniki and Frank Sundstedt proved to be a good match, qualifying for state. Kristjan Thordorson received second place and will also be going to state to compete in the category of computer problem solving.

The individual event medalists list is as follows: Chase Anderson – Business Law, Saba Sahmoedini – Intro to Business, Giovanna Hughes – Intro to Business, and Adam Molina – Personal Finance. Medalists for the team events include Mark Ikalowych and Cole Schleppy – Marketing, Lauren and Montana Cooper – Business Management Decisions, Stuart Young, Max Gamperl, Johnathan Fabulich, and Robert Charles – Parliamentary Procedures, Max Palmer and Cody Dupuis – Global Business.

For more information on JSerra’s Business Magnet Program click here.

Business Magnet Achieving Huge Success in Inaugural Year

The JSerra Business Magnet program is half way through it’s inaugural year and has already opened an on-campus student run store, designed a spill-proof liquid container for the school, attended multiple seminars and conferences among many other great accomplishments.

The Business Magnet program had the honor of hearing speakers share their knowledge and experiences this year, but the program has also attended a seminar at University of California, Irvine last November hosted by Bixby Land Company President and Chief executive, Bill Halford.

UCI Paul Merage School Of Business was so impressed by the students at the seminar they have been invited to another seminar with speaker Jim McCluney, Chief Executive Officer Emulex corporation.

The Business Magnet Program students will be visiting Fullerton College March 3 to participate in the Future Business Leaders of America Southern Sectionals competition.

Many of the students are taking exams on business topics of their choice and many others will be doing co-op  test where multiple students will work together on a range of topics.

Junior Max Palmer and senior Cody Dupuis will be competing in the Global Business group testing.

“We are excited to put the knowledge of ours together and the things we have learned in our intro to business course. We plan on making it to Nationals together and expect great success from our classmates as well,” said Palmer and Dupuis.

For more information on JSerra Magnet Programs click here.