ABA Group Honors Pipeline Program that Begins in Eighth Grade
An ABA group is honoring a New York City program that reaches into eighth-grade classrooms to inspire students from diverse backgrounds to choose legal careers.
The Legal Outreach program selects 70 urban eighth-graders each year, working with them intensively beginning the summer before high school and continuing through law school, if they take that route. The ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline selected the program for its 2010 Alexander Award for Excellence in Pipeline Diversity, according to a press release.
In their first summer in the program, Legal Outreach students receive five weeks of instruction about the justice system. Then they may apply to enter a College Bound program in high school that includes after-school study sessions, life-skills workshops, one-on-one mentoring with lawyers, mock trials and constitutional debates.
The press release cites these results: All of the College Bound participants completed high school, more than 99 percent went to four-year colleges, 85 percent who went to the four-year institutions graduated in four years, 35 percent obtained graduate degrees. and 14 percent went to law school.
The program partners with 42 law firms and financial firms, 20 public interest organizations, 20 judges and 162 lawyer-mentors, the press release says.