Adams and Reese is pleased to announce that it has entered a partnership with Street Law, Inc., to bring the first Legal Diversity Pipeline program to Alabama. Through this program — designed to encourage the pursuit of legal careers by young people from groups that are currently underrepresented in the legal profession — Adams and Reese volunteers will deliver lessons about civil law and available career pathways to students from John L. LeFlore Magnet High School, engaging classes in interactive simulations, and serving as role models and advisors.
“As a part of our ongoing efforts to promote increased diversity within the legal profession, Adams and Reese is thrilled to partner with Street Law, Inc., to bring its Legal Diversity Pipeline program to Alabama,” said Clarence Wilbon, partner and chairman of Adams and Reese’s Diversity Committee based in Memphis. “Participation in this program affords our attorneys the unique opportunity to give back, while encouraging underserved youth in our community to work towards a career in law, letting them know that with hard work and determination, they too can attend law school, become a member of the bar and begin a successful career at a firm such as ours.”
The program will consist of classroom visits where firm volunteers will teach lessons and lead activities designed to increase students' knowledge and interest in the law and the legal profession. Street Law will provide Adams and Reese volunteers with training and curriculum ahead of these visits, as well as technical support throughout the planning and implementation of the program.
The semester culminates in a Legal Careers Conference where the students participate in exciting, interactive legal simulations during which they utilize the skills and knowledge acquired over the course of the program. The students also participate in a career exploration activity at the conference, where they learn about the variety of legal jobs in law firms and companies.
"We are so excited to partner with Street Law for this diversity pipeline program, to have the opportunity to work with the talented students at LeFlore, and to spend time getting to know them and teaching them about a variety of legal concepts surrounding intellectual property, contracts, torts, alternative dispute resolution, and employment law, among others," said Suntrease Williams-Maynard, special counsel at Adams and Reese. "We want these students to walk away after participating in this program inspired to study law and enter the legal profession, with a full understanding of the steps they need to take to make that happen — and ultimately, we want them to know that we're rooting for them."
Attorney Williams-Maynard, who has served on the Signature Advisory Board for LeFlore’s Law Academy for the past several years, will lead the program in Adams and Reese’s Mobile office. The first meeting is scheduled to take place in September.
While this is the first Legal Diversity Pipeline program in Alabama, there are currently two law school-based practical legal education programs — commonly referred to as “Street Law” programs — operating within the state; one at Samford University and the other at the University of Alabama. Much like the Diversity Pipeline program, these are innovative programs in which law students trained in interactive teaching pedagogy teach high school students, disadvantaged populations, and others the basic information, skills, and attitudes they need to thrive as active members of their society by explaining the law, the legal system, and the fundamental principles of democracy.
For more information about any of Street Law, Inc.’s programs, please visit https://www.streetlaw.org/.