July 10, 2009
Firms Lend Background for High Schoolers’ Dreams of Future in Law
Eleven promising high school students will spend four-day internships in July and August at Bricker & Eckler, Chester Willcox & Saxbe, Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter, Schottenstein Zox & Dunn, and Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease. The firms are participants in the Law and Leadership Summer Institute, a pipeline program designed to prepare students to compete at high academic levels in their pursuit of higher education. Additionally, the summer clerks in the Columbus Bar’s Minority Clerkship Program will support the pipeline and give back to the legal community by mentoring these students at their luncheon on July 8.
The ninth-grade students are a part of a project funded by the General Assembly through the Ohio Supreme Court’s Law and Leadership Summer Institute, powered through the combined resources of the Ohio Center for Law Related Education, the Ohio Supreme Court, and the nine Ohio law schools.
Law firms are involved for the first time in proving an environment for the students and giving insight into the lifestyle needed to flourish in the profession and allowing them to embody the dream of becoming an attorney. This program is modeled on a Harlem (NY) City Schools program that has seen incredible success for nearly twenty-five years. Eighty-five percent of their students completing ninth grade will graduate from college in four years, and fourteen percent of those college graduates are enrolled in or have completed law school.
Recruited through the Columbus Bar Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative, the five firms will provide a stipend for the students during their internship and provide real life legal problems, counseling, coaching and evaluation geared to the level of a bright fifteen-year old. The Law and Leadership Summer Institute is the brainchild of Professor Nancy Hardin Rogers of the Moritz College of Law. Maxine Thomas, General Counsel for the Kettering Foundation is on loan serving as the Executive Director.
Photo: Firm representatives participated in a program orientation conducted by Suzanne K. Richards, a partner at the Vorys firm and developer of the toolkit for law firms with interns from the LLSI.