Two Mock Trial Alumni Clerk for the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS)

Landing a job as a clerk for a United States Supreme Court Justice is the most prestigious and coveted job any lawyer can get. Each year, over 1,000 promising lawyers (with plenty of support from esteemed law professors) apply for one of only 36 spots. So the odds of not one, but two Timothy Christian Mock Trial alumni to be selected for a clerkship are actually quite staggering! Yet Jasmine Stein Akre (Class of 2012) and Taylor Hoogendoorn (Class of 2011) made the final cut. Taylor clerked for Justice Samuel Alito, who was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Jasmine was recently selected to clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, who was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to succeed Thurgood Marshall.

To fully understand the odds of making it to the final 36, the Chambers Association website spells it out clearly: “Only the brightest and very, very best need apply.” It’s a highly competitive process and every candidate is brilliant, has glowing reviews, near perfect grades, and Ivy League law degrees. Those who are selected for the year-long clerkship often go on to prestigious careers, some even earning a nomination to the bench themselves.

So how did both Jasmine and Taylor each earn a spot as a SCOTUS clerk? Taylor graduated from Baylor University (Texas) and Jasmine from Wheaton College (Illinois). They both went on to graduate from Yale Law School, which only accepts approximately 200 applicants a year. Besides a J.D. from an Ivy League school (and stamina, drive, and academic excellence), they have another thing in common — Mr. Scott Roelofs and Ms. Cathy McNeil Stein, the head coaches of the nationally ranked Timothy Christian Mock Trial team.

“Mr. Roelofs, without question, had a huge impact on my life — probably more than any other teacher or professor,” Taylor explains. “Not only did Mock Trial give me the skill set to do college Mock Trial, but it also gave me social skills, confidence, and a competitive drive that are all important in higher education and as a lawyer.”

Whatever your student’s goals and ambitions are, you can get there from here.

Ms. McNeil Stein, who also happens to be Jasmine’s mother, is referred to as the “lifeblood of the team” by Mr. Roelofs. In her 19 years coaching Mock Trial, she has coached five of the team’s eight state championships alongside Mr. Roelofs.

“My experience with Timothy Mock Trial was particularly special because I was able to share it with my mother,” said Jasmine. “She was (and still is) one of my biggest cheerleaders. From late night edits to early morning practices, she worked tirelessly to ensure that we performed at our absolute best.”

Mr. Roelofs and Ms. McNeil Stein are still teaching these same skills and leading teams to the top competitions in the nation. They have a long list of accomplishments and enough trophies to fill an entire trophy case. But they’re the first ones to tell you that they’re not after trophies and titles. They want their Mock Trial team to compete with integrity and to represent Timothy in a God-honoring way. The mission of Mr. Roelofs and Ms. McNeil Stein is to develop courageous leaders who fully live out their purpose in the world for Christ.

Whatever your student’s goals and ambitions are, you can get there
from here.

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