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Adams and Reese concluded its third annual partnership with the Street Law Inc. Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, mentoring students from a Mobile, Alabama high school. The program creates opportunities for law firms and corporate legal departments to teach and inspire high school students, who are often underrepresented in the legal profession, about legal careers.

On Thursday, March 7th, the Adams and Reese Mobile office welcomed students and teachers from Leflore Magnet High School for the Capstone Event, marking the culmination of Adams and Reese attorneys working with students over several weeks. Adams and Reese attorneys began the mentorship program by visiting students and teachers at the high school.

Adams and Reese attorneys participating in the Street Law program included Britton Bonner, Jonathan Davis, Andy Freeman, Matt Jackson, Brandon Lawson, Taylor Pecci, Blake Richardson, Caleb Smoke, and Garrett Zoghby.

The objective of the program was to build an understanding of how the First Amendment’s freedom of speech applies to students in a school setting. The curriculum included an exploration of real-life cases decided by the United States Supreme Court, coupled with a detailed analysis of the legal principles established by those cases.

The highlight of the program was the Capstone Event at the Adams and Reese office, which provided students with a hands-on application of their acquired knowledge in a moot court setting. This year’s focus was on a topic with a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of high school students: cyberbullying.

The students engaged in oral arguments based on a fact pattern involving a student’s use of social media, leading to hurtful speech, community-wide impact, and subsequent legal action against the school board for First Amendment violations. Divided into three groups, students assumed roles as lawyers representing the suspended student, lawyers representing the school board, and Supreme Court Justices.

Guided by Adams and Reese attorneys, these groups prepared for oral arguments, presenting their positions, and engaging in deliberations before announcing their rulings. Post-ruling, an open forum facilitated discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of each case position. Students explored the challenges of advocating for positions that may differ from personal beliefs, delving into the complexities of personal bias in legal analysis.

Adams and Reese’s Street Law partnership and initiative is also taking place across the firm’s regional footprint, including in New Orleans where attorneys are mentoring students from Jefferson RISE Charter School. Led by Adams and Reese attorney Cate Creed, the program provides training, curriculum support, and technical assistance.

Adams and Reese’s commitment to mentorship is evident in its firm-wide pipeline programs and initiatives, including AdvanceLaw’s Diversity Mentorship Program, AR ARROW (Advancement, Recruitment, and Retention of Women), and DAAP (Diverse Attorney Advancement and Promotion).

Learn more about Adams and Reese’s DEI initiatives and career opportunities.