Justice Academy

District Attorney’s Justice Academy (DAJA)

Thank you for your interest in DAJA! We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021 Academy. Please check with you high school in the fall of 2021 for applications to the 2022 Academy.

What is DAJA?

The District Attorney’s Justice Academy is a six month learning and working experience for high school students, ages 16 and up, who are interested in pursuing the study of law, justice, social justice, and the courts. Download our DAJA brochure.

Please note that due to current COVID-19 Health Orders, the learning portion of the program will begin remotely and will not shift to in-person learning until and unless feasible. Likewise, the summer 2021 internship portion of the program cannot be guaranteed given the current COVID-19 related uncertainties.

This Academy teaches teens about the many facets of the justice system while encouraging critical thought and civic engagement.

Who Can Apply?

The Justice Academy is open to juniors and seniors who are residents of and attend public high school in Alameda County.

How DAJA works

This Academy teaches teens about the many facets of the justice system while encouraging critical thought and civic engagement.

During the spring semester, our DAJA students meet twice monthly to participate in highly engaging and thought-provoking seminars led by experts in the field. These meetings encourage students to think critically and analytically, research, ask questions, and problem-solve.

If permitted by health officials, students are placed in a paid internship with a local government agency, non-profit organization, office of an elected official, or private law office over the summer.

At the conclusion of the program, the students present a persuasive oral argument to an audience on a topic they encountered in the seminar series.


  • Awarded 2020 CDAA award for Excellence in Innovation View on CDAA’s website
  • Congratulations to Neisha Moore, DAJA 2017, who will be headed to USC is the fall!
    Read the East Bay Times article
  • Won the 2013 Achievement Award in the category of Children and Youth by the National Association of Counties (NACo).
  • Received the Merit Award in the 2013 California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Challenge Awards Competition.

Learn more about DAJA from OneDublin.org’s interview:
District Attorney’s Justice Academy Offers High School Students Internships and Lessons in the Law

DAJA  Alumni Spotlight


Read more below about the DAJA Program and what our alumni have gone on to achieve.

DAJA Program Alumni


Class: DAJA – Eden ‘13
School: Tennyson High School
College: California State University, East Bay 2018
Major: Criminal Justice with an option in community alternatives and corrections

While studying at California State University East Bay, Jocelyn majored in criminal justice with an option in community alternatives and corrections. Some of Jocelyn’s coursework included: Restorative Justice, Community Based Corrections, Prejudice Violence Hate Crime, Crime Theory, Women in Criminal Justice, The Crime Victim, Ethics and Justice Administration, Research Methods Criminal Justice, and Corrections and Criminal Justice. Jocelyn worked on-campus at East Bay’s IT department where she assisted her colleagues in configuring Blackboard, a website that allowed students to access their courses online. During her time at East Bay, Jocelyn was enrolled in a Restorative Justice class. She was also a part of Cal State East Bay’s Role Models Program where she would mentor at-risk teenagers at Tennyson High School.

During her last year at CSUEB, Jocelyn wanted to get a head start on paying off her student debt. She worked two jobs while balancing her night classes. Her first job was full-time at a partial hospitalization program, a mental health crisis stabilization day program that supports teens who experience suicidal ideation and have depression and/or anxiety. Her second job was a shelter advocate at a domestic violence shelter. She spent her weekends working with women and children who were victims of domestic violence.

Soon after graduating in June 2018, Jocelyn was hired by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to work with H.E.A.T (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Watch. Through H.E.A.T Watch, Jocelyn works with the SafetyNet team. SafetyNet meetings are designed to provide an immediate response to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) in Alameda County. The purpose of these multi-disciplinary team meetings is to ensure victim safety for youth.


Class: DAJA Tri-Valley 2013
School: Amador Valley High School
College: University of Oregon 2017
Major: International Studies

At the University of Oregon, Namratha studied international affairs with an emphasis on peace studies and conflict resolution. She was the co-president of the University of Oregon UNICEF and University of Oregon Beyond War. During summer 2016, Namratha studied in Oxford England and Belfast, Northern Ireland as a Stern Fellow through the Oxford Consortium of Human Rights. She also worked as an undergraduate consultant for the Israel-Palestine course.

Namratha participated in Carnegie Global Oregon as a steering committee member. This leadership organization allows students to explore ethical issues pertaining to human rights, international development, the military, and many other areas. Through the Robert D. Clark Honors College, Namratha wrote her thesis entitled Mimouna in the Mellah: Moroccan and French Government Policies and their Impacts on Jewish-Muslim Relations in Morocco.

Namratha interned for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, a partnership between the University of Oregon and correctional systems in order to deepen the conversation and transform approaches to understanding crime, justice, freedom, and inequality. During the summer of 2015, she interned at the International Rescue Committee in Oakland, California, an organization that provides opportunities for refugees, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. While in DAJA, Namratha worked for immigration lawyer Spojmie Nasiri in Pleasanton, California. She interned with Ms Nasiri again during the summer of her freshman year.

Currently, Namratha is a Scoville Peace Fellow at ReThink Media in Washington DC focusing on narrowing the information gap between media and policy related to nuclear issues. She will work primarily on a research project on the public’s perception of nuclear weapons issues, a project aimed at helping policy experts engage millennial audiences, and on a new public education campaign in conjunction with several other organizations.

Namratha plans to attend graduate school in the near future to further narrow and develop her focus of study. Afterward, she hopes to pursue a career in law or policy.


Class: DAJA Tri-Valley 2014
School: Dublin High School
College: Tufts University 2019
Majors: Economics and International Relations

Sobhon is studying the intersectionality between factors that affect global power dynamics at the state level. This includes energy, regional and local politics, history, economics, business, security, technology, and much more. Courses Sobhon has taken include: History of Afghanistan, Law and Society Seminar, Politics of Oil and Energy, and Development Economics.

At Tufts, Sobhon has participated in Model United Nations and the Tufts Economics Society. He has also volunteered as a librarian at a local elementary school, provided academic tutoring services, and has been a student orientation leader.

Sobhon interned at the Directorate of the Budget, Ministry of Finance in Afghanistan. He worked with international donors and researched various topics including donor profiles. He assisted advisors and the Directorate General in conducting the Public Expenditure and Financial Assessment with international donors. Furthermore, he wrote budget execution briefs, and implemented fiduciary capacity building projects.

Sobhon also interned at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies under the Department of Defense in Washington DC. He worked under research professors at the National Defense University and also assisted colleagues responsible for hosting foreign nationals. During DAJA, he interned at Congressman Eric Swalwell’s Office.

Sobhon hopes to attend graduate school after earning his bachelor’s degree.


Class: DAJA Tri-Valley 2013
School: Amador Valley High School
College: San Diego State University 2017
Majors: Political Science and International Security & Conflict Resolution

While at San Diego State, Courtney focused on international conflict and sustainable ways to work for a more peaceful future. She studied intercultural communication, negotiation and mediation, conflict resolution, national security policy, and
international human rights.

Courtney graduated from San Diego State summa cum laude. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Scholars Without Borders Honor Society, Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, Rho Lambda Greek Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She was named the Mortar Board Ramier-Coleman Fellow by the Mortar Board National Foundation.

Named one of two outstanding students for San Diego State University College of Arts and Letters Class of 2017 graduating class
Named one of five outstanding students from the campus – more than 35,000 – to be profiled in the “360: Magazine of San Diego State” alumni magazine Summer 2017 issue
Courtney co-founded SISSTER – Sororities Invested in Survivor Support, Training, and Ending Rape culture – to provide training to incoming students, tabling on campus for awareness, and organized events to promote awareness of sexual assault prevention and victim advocacy.

Courtney also co-founded and served as the Chief Marketing Officer of PowerWeavers, which focused on providing young mothers with sustainable incomes and leadership skills. Furthermore, she was one of twenty students – selected out of more than 1200 applicants – to participate in the Fred J. Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation.

Courtney interned with the City Attorney’s Office with the City of Livermore for her DAJA internship. She interned there for two more subsequent summers. She’s also interned for Congressman Brad Sherman (CA-30) in Washington DC, and the US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in Washington DC.

Courtney will attend George Washington University Law School. She plans to focus in National Security & US Foreign Relations Law with an emphasis in international human rights law to eventually work for the Department of State or the United Nations.


Class: DAJA North County 2015
School: Albany High School
College: Berkeley City College
Major: Political Science

While attending Berkeley City College, Roman is studying Political Science with a focus on Public Policy. Courses he has taken include: The U.S. Constitution and Criminal Due Process, Political Theory, and Comparative Government. He was elected Vice President of Administration for Student Government as well as the President of the Political Science Students Association at his college.

Roman has served on the Judicial Council for Student Government in which he facilitated a food and housing partnership between the Berkeley Student Corps and Berkeley City College. He is also a member of the Latino Leadership Cultural Club. He worked to increase membership and find leadership opportunities for students. Furthermore, he organized a speaking engagement for Mexican journalist Anabel Hernandez.

Through the City of Albany, he is a commissioner for the Social and Economic Justice Commission that works to research, analyze, discuss, and evaluate a broad range of data and opinions on the social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of the residents of Albany. During DAJA, Roman interned with California State Assemblymember Tony Thurmond’s District Office. Since then, he has interned for the Oakland Soda Tax Campaign and the Albany Soda Tax Campaign. Currently, he works as a Case Manager at California Trial Law Group.

Roman’s plans for the future are to transfer to a four year university then enroll in law school. He hopes to become a public servant and participate in the legislative process. In his words: “Interning at a public service office and working at a law office has taught me the importance laws play in our everyday lives and the power they can have when people are put first.”


Class: DAJA Tri-Valley 2012
School: Granada High School
College: University of Oregon 2017
Majors: Political Science and Sociology

During her time at the University of Oregon, Cheyenne was selected for the Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Honors Society and the National Honors Society of Leadership and Success. She received the highest honors on her thesis: ‘Chief Diversity Offices in Higher Education and their Organizational Typologies’.

Cheyenne worked as a Teaching Assistant for First Year Programs assisting in a college connections course for first year students taking introductory Biology and Psychology classes. She provided a variety of social and academic resources for first year students. She also was a Residential Assistant in which she worked to engage students to develop into socially and civically responsible citizens. For two years, Cheyenne was a Peer Advisor for the Sociology Department as well. Furthermore, Cheyenne has worked as a part time employee at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for three years. At the lab, she worked in the Computation Directorate as an Administrative Intern. For her DAJA summer internship, she was placed at the City Attorney’s Office with the City of Livermore.

Cheyenne will be attending UC Irvine School of Law this fall.

In her words: “I am very excited to be entering law school at UCI. Thanks to my positive experiences in DAJA I have since been highly interested in the many working parts of our legal system. Currently I am interested in an array of potential JD concentrations including civil rights, IP, health, and international law. My undergraduate thesis focused on applications of affirmative action programs within higher education and I am extremely passionate about the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in various fields of society.

“I hope to use my future education in law to better my community and the lives of those around me. Thank you DAJA for helping spark a fire within me which has maintained to inspire and motivate me for many years!”


Class: DAJA Eden 2014
School: Mt Eden High School
College: University of Guam 2019
Major: Criminal Justice

At the University of Guam, Dion is studying international law and public policy processes as well as ethical, professional, and socially responsibilities in the different local, regional, and global environments related to criminal justice. While studying constitutional law and criminal law, he has learned the underlying principles of constitutional interpretation, government organization and functions, and the application of the Bill of Rights to criminal justice as well as the required elements of crimes under the common law and modern criminal statutes.

Dion has also completed public administration courses such as Correctional Security Management as well as Administration and Public Policy. He has learned the rationale, procedures, and problems underlying sentencing and the correctional processes at the national, state, and local levels.

Currently, Dion is an AmeriCorps member at Guam Homeland Security. His position entails assisting with storm disaster recovery efforts and emergency management, since Guam is prone to typhoons. Dion is also a member of the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program for Guam Homeland Security and sometimes goes to active areas during storms or manmade disasters to provide assistance. He’s been in the program for three years.

Dion is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and is a Baba Corporation Scholar. Furthermore, Dion conducted a special project on the recent solar eclipse. He documented how people from different backgrounds came from all over the world to see this special event. With the help of a grant from the University of Guam, he was sent to the Willamette National Forest in Oregon to take pictures of the solar eclipse in totality. Afterwards, at the University of Guam, Dion gave in-class presentations on the experience to help promote traveling while in school.

Plans for future: Attend law school to become a criminal prosecutor.


Class: DAJA Tri-Valley 2012
School: Livermore High School
College: San Jose State University 2017
Major: Justice Studies with a minor in Forensic Science

Nathan’s major at San Jose State included a variety of psychological and scientific based courses that were focused on the field of criminal justice. Some of the coursework included:
Criminal Law; Courts and Society; Introduction to Cybercrime; Race, Gender, Inequality and Law; Introduction to Forensic Science; Forensic Applications; The Prison Community;
Special Topics: DNA and Crime; Police and Society;

Nathan conducted his senior research thesis on the results of policing based on the Ferguson Effect. Nathan examined the way policing has changed and adapted towards the public after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. His thesis incorporated statistics which showed the potential correlation between policing strategies and how police officers have experienced a shift in their daily duties and decisions based on events that have occurred since 2014.

Nathan interned with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office – Pipeline to the Justice System Program. He worked closely with attorneys on trial preparation, research, and special projects. After graduating from San Jose State, Nathan now works as an Earl Warren Fellow at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. Through this fellowship, Nathan assists the attorneys with discovery compliance and supports the prosecution team with trial preparation. His is learning first-hand the inner workings of the District Attorney’s Office. Only two fellows were selected for this year’s program.

Nathan is preparing to take the LSAT with the goal of starting law school in the fall of 2018. He wants to practice criminal law.

Further information

For more information, please email us at daja@acgov.org.