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DLA Piper and Verizon Introduce High School Students to Legal Careers

Thursday, February 16, 2012

  • Organization: DLA Piper

Students from University of Chicago Charter School Woodlawn Campus concluded an educational law program with an all-day conference on February 15, 2012 at the Chicago office of DLA Piper with Verizon. The program and conference are part of the NALP/Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, a joint effort between the two named non-profits that promotes diversity in the legal profession.

The program partners law firms with nearby, diverse high schools in an effort to engage the students, teach them about civil law, and encourage them to consider careers in the legal profession. DLA Piper is one of nine law firms across the country participating in this fourth year of the Legal Diversity Pipeline program. The program, which began in 2007, is one important component in the movement to increase the representation of women and people of color in the legal profession. By providing students opportunities to learn about the law and participate in simulations of real-world legal situations, the program works to open young people to the possibility of a legal career and provide them with resources to pursue that path.

The conference was the culmination of a multi-week program in which DLA Piper and Verizon legal department volunteers taught students in Mr. Thomas’ student government group about contract disputes, advertising law, and First Amendment issues surrounding cyber bullying laws. The weekly lessons allowed students to get an overview of different areas of law and apply what they learned to hypothetical situations, providing a chance to experience what it is like to be a law student or legal professional. The legal professionals also offered personal mentorship and career guidance to students interested in legal careers. The University of Chicago Law School’s Black Law Student Association (BLSA) chapter also participated in the program hosting high school students for a law school field trip, which included a discussion with current law students and a Socratic-style lecture.

The all-day conference reinforced the students’ lessons with interactive workshops and gave them a glimpse into the firm’s business. The day also included lunch and a career fair where students explored the wide array of jobs and practice areas in the legal profession.

“It is inspiring to see so many members of Chicago’s legal community coming together to strengthen the pipeline of students entering the legal profession. I think the effort DLA Piper, Verizon, Inc. and the University of Chicago Students have poured into this program will help diversify the profession,” said Millie Bond, the NALP/Street Law Program Fellow.

About DLA Piper (www.dlapiper.com): DLA Piper has 4,200 lawyers in 31 countries and 77 offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. In certain jurisdictions, this information may be considered attorney advertising. About Verizon: Verizon is a global leader in delivering innovative communications, information and entertainment. Verizon offers voice, data and video products and services over intelligent wireless, broadband and global IP networks that meet customers' growing demand for speed, mobility, security and control. As a committed corporate citizen, we use our advanced communications services to address important issues confronting our society.

About Street Law: Street Law, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides practical, participatory education about law, democracy, and human rights. With a unique blend of content and methodology, Street Law, Inc. uses techniques that promote cooperative learning, critical thinking, and the ability to participate in a democratic society. For 35 years, Street Law, Inc.'s programs and curricula have promoted knowledge of legal rights and responsibilities, engagement in the democratic process, and belief in the rule of law, among both youth and adults. To learn more visit www.streetlaw.org.

About NALP: Founded in 1971, the National Association for Law Placement, Inc.® (NALP) is a nonprofit educational association of law schools and legal employers dedicated to facilitating legal career counseling and planning, recruitment and retention, and the professional development of law students and lawyers.

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