Law Students and Practitioners Give High School Students a Taste of Law School and the Legal Profession Reviewed by Momizat on . In February, Southwestern's Street Law Clinic collaborated with volunteer attorneys from the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel In February, Southwestern's Street Law Clinic collaborated with volunteer attorneys from the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel Rating: 0
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Law Students and Practitioners Give High School Students a Taste of Law School and the Legal Profession

Street Line Pipeline Program Culmination Group PhotoIn February, Southwestern’s Street Law Clinic collaborated with volunteer attorneys from the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC-SoCal) to teach several sessions about careers in the legal profession to local, at-risk youth. Twenty juniors and seniors from Dorsey High School’s Law and Public Service Magnet program participated in classes that included: contracts, employment discrimination and harassment, intellectual property, and sports and entertainment law.¬†This an annual partnership with ACC-SoCal, Dorsey High School and our Street Law Clinic is coordinated by Professor Laura Cohen as part of Street Law Inc.’s Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Program.

William Harn of City National Bank, a member and past president of ACC-SoCal, has been involved in this pipeline program for several years. He said that it benefits both the attorneys and the students. “Lawyers get the opportunity to talk about the profession from a whole different perspective to an audience who can appreciate the roles that they have as corporate lawyers as opposed to the role of lawyers that they see on TV,” he said. “Students get a better perspective of what different facts of the law and what the profession is about, and hopefully, it inspires them to pursue a legal education in the future.”

Southwestern clinical students helped facilitate the sessions and provided input from their viewpoints. “I think the high school students really get a benefit from it,” said PLEAS student Jesse Castner. “They engage the lawyers and themselves a lot during each lesson, and I think they get a better idea of what the legal profession is and whether they want to do it because for most of these students that’s one of their goals – to work in the legal field one day.”

Street Line Pipeline Program Culmination ClassMichael Chang, in-house counsel for Warner Bros and pro bono committee chair at ACC-SoCal, taught a session on entertainment law to the students. “We’re here to give them a taste of what different areas of practice are and what we all do.”

Dorsey students expressed gratitude to Southwestern for presenting them with the opportunity to meet lawyers and get to network with industry professionals. “We learned public speaking skills and how to negotiate, and we interacted with lawyers from companies like Disney and Fox Studios,” Dorsey student Selena Santiago said. “It was a really good experience for me.”

Southwestern evening student Ashley Williams knows first-hand that these programs can really inspire a diverse group of teenagers to give law school and the legal profession serious consideration.¬† “I participated in the Dorsey High School Teen Court program as well as the Street Law program that was offered when I was a high school student there,” she said. “Now I am here at Southwestern because of those programs. They inspired me to take a legal stance or legal perspective but also, as a person of color, it helped me figure out that there are people of color in this field and that you can pursue your dreams no matter what environment you come from.”

Akeba Jackson, the Law Magnet Coordinator at Dorsey High, said it is rewarding to see former students like Williams go to law school.¬† “It is wonderful to see that our students are able to capitalize off this opportunity and this really links them to the real world. To see [the goal of these programs] coming into fruition is absolutely amazing.”

Southwestern day student Christine Milo wrote about the program in a guest blog for¬†ACC.¬† She wished that she would have had this kind of introduction to the legal profession when she was in high school. “I really enjoyed this experience,” she said. “It was inspiring to see the Dorsey students get excited about the law.”

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