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Legal Diversity Pipeline Conference Held at Maine Law with 80 Casco Bay High School Students


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Legal Diversity Pipeline Conference Held at Maine Law with 80 Casco Bay High School Students

Bernstein Shur Attorneys and University of Maine School of Law Students Led Conference

More than 80 students from the junior class at Portland’s Casco Bay High School participated in a legal diversity pipeline conference at the University of Maine School of Law on December 8, 2014. The National Association for Law Placement’s Street Law program partners with high schools, law schools and law firms and provides encouragement and support to students in their aspirations to pursue legal careers and increase diversity in the industry.

Joan Fortin guides students in breakout workshop

Joan Fortin guides students in breakout workshop

During the day-long experiential conference, students got to try their hands at practicing law in three workshops that covered the First Amendment (freedom of religion), Fourth Amendment (protection from illegal search and seizure), and the elements of contract law. Bernstein Shur attorneys worked with the students to invoke and debunk misconceptions about what lawyers do, what skills are required to be a lawyer. The firm also offered a job fair to expose students to other aspects of law firm operations and speak with legal assistants, paralegals, librarians, IT, service center and marketing professionals.

In preparation for the workshop, Bernstein Shur attorneys and University of Maine School of Law students met over the course of a two-week period with the students in the classroom exploring workshop topics, practicing persuasive arguments, learning the elements of a contract and negotiating terms.

“We are proud to participate in the Street Law Legal Pipeline Program for the third consecutive year,” said CEO Pat Scully. “Street Law aligns with our strategic goals as a firm: to promote diversity and celebrate individual differences. We are pleased to help young people in our community to better understand the many opportunities for careers in the law and legal services.”

Bernstein Shur is the only New England law firm that participates in Street Law. The conference was coordinated by business law attorney Willette Elder and included 11 additional attorney participants:

Mary Costigan
Asha Echeverria
Joan Fortin
Will Hueske
Kate Knox
Charlie Miller
Shana Cook Mueller
Dan Murphy
Jaimie Schwartz
Beth Smith
Kelsey Wilcox

Casco Bay High School students with attorney teachers Kelsey Wilcox & Willette Elder

Casco Bay High School students with attorney teachers Kelsey Wilcox & Willette Elder

 

 

 

 

 

Willette Elder welcomes students from Casco Bay High School

Willette Elder welcomes students from Casco Bay High School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Bernstein Shur
Widely regarded as one of New England’s most entrepreneurial law firms, Bernstein Shur has more than 100 attorneys in offices in Maine and New Hampshire. Founded in 1915, the firm provides practical and innovative counsel in the areas of business law, litigation, and municipal law to clients throughout the region and around the world. Bernstein Shur is Maine’s exclusive member of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms. More information is available at www.bernsteinshur.com.

About Street Law
Street Law is a nonprofit organization that creates classroom and community programs to teach people about law, democracy and human rights worldwide. Street Law program participants benefit from “real-life” lessons and insights, which they can use to effect positive change for the rest of their lives. Accessible, engaging, and interactive programs empower students and communities to become active, legally-savvy contributors to society.

About National Association for Law Placement
Founded in 1971, the National Association for Law Placement, Inc. 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.