Written by Lucero Benitez, COSS Communications Specialist

A petite, quiet, shy young woman, Naila Estrada stands just under 5 feet tall. At times, she speaks so softly, she is asked to repeat herself. But in a courtroom — during trial — the 19 year old speaks loudly and confidently. An aspiring attorney, the courtroom is where she asserts herself — her goal to one day represent undocumented families.

Estrada is on the mock trial team at Fresno State, a competitive organization that promotes the ideals of law and the judicial system through participation in intercollegiate competition. But perhaps her biggest competition is the one against her natural tendencies. She joined the team last year with minimal confidence, and she is still concerned whether others will take her seriously.

“I feel like people will probably think, ‘I can’t believe she’s a lawyer,’” Estrada says. “They’ll probably see me and think, ‘Is she really going to come up here?’ Then, once I start talking, they’ll be surprised.”

It’s a confidence the Mock Trial team at Fresno State has given her. Read the full story here.