July 26, 2017
Over the past school year, nearly 5,000 students from high schools across the nation got to learn from and network with over 1,800 volunteer legal professionals from 59 law firms and corporate law departments!
Held in partnership with the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), the 2016-17 Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program matched up law firms or corporate law departments with nearby, diverse high school classes. The purpose of the program, now going on its 16th year, is to engage students, teach them about the law, and encourage them to consider careers in the legal profession.
Through classroom visits from legal volunteers and Legal Career Conferences at the partner firms or corporations, students explored real-world legal issues – such as cyberbullying, search and seizure, contracts, and sexual harassment – that helped them better understand what lawyers, paralegals, and other legal professionals do on the job.
Activities included legal simulations in which students took on the role of lawyers as they contended with challenging legal problems. With the guidance of the volunteers, students negotiated mock contracts, argued in mock trials, testified at mock legislative hearings, and designed mock policies.
In addition, students engaged one-on-one with attorneys, asked questions about law-related careers, and practiced their networking skills. Law schools partnered with several law firms and companies on their programs. They provided information sessions on admission and financial aid, classroom activities, and campus tours. For students who expressed interest in a career in law, numerous legal professionals offered personal mentorship and career guidance.
What People Are Saying
According to Street Law’s Chief Program Officer, Megan Hanson, this program is an important tool to increase diversity in the legal profession.
“These students need to be exposed to information about legal careers and have the opportunity to explore the types of tasks legal professionals do on a daily basis. A high-energy, interactive experience like this is a great way to get young people interested in legal careers.”
This experiential learning is coordinated with and guided by partner teachers from participating schools. One partner teacher remarked,
“The team from [the law firm] spent two days in my classroom preparing my students to spend the day with them interviewing ‘witnesses’ and passing legislation through city council. Street Law has developed [an] amazing curriculum that was both engaging and challenging. This was an invaluable experience for my students.”
After participating in a conference, one student said,
“I learned that precision and critical thinking are definitely the most pivotal.”
A representative from one law firm reported the following:
“We had such a fulfilling experience with our program this year. We had an extremely talented group of 19 students from the high school that were really engaged in the program, especially the conference. It was amazing to see them blossom throughout our journey with them.”
Participating Companies & Firms
We welcomed the following corporate law departments and law firms as new participants in the 2016-17 program!
- Precision Medicine Group and Dentons
- Charleston (SC) Bar Association, Nelson Mullins, and the Charleston School of Law
- Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison (New York)
- Schiff Hardin (Chicago)
Check out the complete roster of participating companies and law firms — all 59 strong!
Thank you to all of our Legal Diversity Pipeline Program partners and the individual volunteers who make the legal profession come alive for students. Planning for the 2017-18 program is already underway! For more information, please contact Joy Dingle.
(Reproduced with permission)
Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Program
Legal Diversity Pipeline Program for Law Firms